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Counties Energy Named Finalist in Two Categories at 2024 New Zealand Energy Excellence Awards

Counties Energy, a lines distribution company based in Pukekohe, is proud to announce its recognition as a finalist in two categories at the prestigious 2024 New Zealand Energy Excellence Awards.

The company has been shortlisted for the Innovation in Energy Award for its New Zealand-first Berm Battery project, taking used electric vehicle (EV) batteries and giving them a second-life as a battery storage system.  The project demonstrates sustainable driving technology and how battery energy solutions can manage peak demand electricity usage cost effectively, ultimately benefiting the company, local electricity consumers, EV drivers and the environment.

Counties Energy Chief Executive Judy Nicholl expressed her delight at the recognition.  “This is the fifth year out of the last six years that Counties Energy has been acknowledged as a finalist at these awards. It underscores the significant strides we’re making in reimagining energy and developing solutions to meet the evolving energy needs of our customers both today and into the future.”

Ms Nicholl highlighted the momentous year for Counties Energy, noting the company’s centenary celebrations and the launch of several key initiatives. “In our centenary year, we have shown the evolution of the company and our commitment to innovation and transforming to a Distribution Systems Operator. The Berm Battery project is a testament to our commitment to advancing energy solutions for our community.”

“I’d like to acknowledge the dedicated and extremely talented teams we have here at Counties Energy who were involved in the Berm Battery project from inception, planning, project management, infrastructure build, commissioning, testing and launch, and those who continue to manage this important asset.  This has been a cross team collaborative project and I thank all those involved in driving the success of this initiative,” she says.

The Berm Battery project forms part of the company’s significant work in the DSO space this year to enable flexible infrastructure and improve customer benefits and choice and as they work to offer more sustainable solutions.  Counties Energy announced in May a TSO/DSO pilot project with Transpower and in February, the completion of a major DSO milestone on a project collaborating with OpenLoop, Europe-based Plexigrid and Ara Ake. The company is also investing in its digital utility transformation, working on a major project to migrate to an advanced distribution management system.

The company also celebrates the nomination of Moonis Vegdani, Group Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, finalist for Young Energy Professional of the Year. Mr Vegdani leads the digital transformation of the company as it transitions to distribution systems operator in a rapidly evolving energy industry.

Counties Energy extends its congratulations to all the finalists of the 2024 New Zealand Energy Excellence Awards. The company previously won the Network Initiative of the Year award in 2019 for their INDI (Infrastructure and Network Data Interface) platform, further cementing its reputation for excellence and innovation in the energy sector.

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