Stash Energy, based in Fredericton, was co-founded by Jordan Kennie, Daniel Larsen and Erik Hatfield. Kennie and Hatfield are from New Brunswick while Larsen is from Belfast, P.E.I. All three are students at UNB completing their masters in engineering entrepreneurship.
Since 2015 they’ve been working to create a device that uses smart grid technology to take cheap off-peak energy and store it thermally using a unique compound they created to do the job and are working to patent. That stored energy can then be used during peak hours when electricity is more expensive.
The system works in conjunction with a heat pump. It’s comparable in size and look to a standard hot water tank.
The company recently penned a deal with Summerside to test two of their prototypes in a municipally owned building as part of the city’s Living Lab initiative.
That partnership has been a great opportunity, said Kennie, company CEO.
“It’s amazing. I couldn’t have pictured us doing a project and someone else saying ‘Wow, that’s really cool. How can we help?’
“Working with the guys from Summerside Electric and the City of Summerside has just been fantastic. They’ve been great mentors.”
The partnership came about because Larsen listened a presentation from the city during one of his classes at UPEI, which he attended prior to UNB. He was impressed with the level to which the city was willing to support emerging and innovative electrical technology.
A couple of years later, when the group started to work on their technology, Larsen approached the city.
It’s great to be able to take an innovative project like this to the next level in his home province, said Larsen.
“I like that P.E.I. is doing something innovative and I think it reflects well on the Island,” he said.
“A lot of much bigger players look up to what Summerside is doing,” he added.
If the Stash Energy pilot project goes well, the company hopes to start offering units for sale within a couple of years. They estimate their systems could save homeowners another 30 per cent on their heating costs in addition to savings from a heat pump.
“Big picture for the company would be to have one of these (systems) in every home. But realistically, if one in four New Brunswick homes had our unit, heat pump and storage, we would be able to decommission one of our coal generating stations,” said Kennie.