Five things you need to know when it comes to battery storage

For a subject that many have dismissed as too far into the future or not yet commercially viable, it seems there’s been a sudden change of heart.

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For a subject that many have dismissed as too far into the future or not yet commercially viable, it seems there’s been a sudden change of heart.

Of all the demand-side-response related queries we receive, it’s always around battery storage that customers show the most interest.

Dan Connor, DSR Development and Delivery Manager at Energy HQ, npower Business Solutions , tells you all you need to know if you are interested in – or considering – battery storage as part of your overall energy management strategy.

Why any flexible asset can be used as a battery

For example, did you know that a cold storage system could be classified as a battery?

You can ‘charge’ it up by using extra power to reduce temperatures, then ‘discharge’ that stored energy at peak times by turning down your supply and letting your cold store warm up to your maximum permitted temperature.

Despite drawing the same grid consumption, reducing import power at peak times will deliver significant savings on peak import costs –– so reducing your overall energy bill.

Necessity drives battery market

The reason battery storage is getting so much attention is necessity. As coal-fired power stations go off line, so we lose that inertia that allowed us to balance the energy system.

The growth in renewable generation is also increasing the need for greater flexibility in the grid.

So finding new ways to balance energy supply and demand is crucial, especially as traditional methods of energy storage – i.e. hydro power stations – are already at capacity for the UK’s topography.

Understanding the technical details

Before you consider investing in battery storage, however, it’s worth increasing your understanding of how batteries work.

For example, the difference between the cells (which store energy) and the invertors (which allow you to access that energy). Also, how the relationship between the two gives you a battery’s C-rating, and what this means to your business.

Understanding the different ways you can use battery storage is also key – from load shifting to cost avoidance, revenue generation to directly-connected utility scale applications.

Any investment should also be supported by a clear view of return on investment. So it’s important to understand the value that each battery solution can potentially deliver – not only now but in five and ten years’ time.

Why taking a long-term view is key

Having a view of revenue streams over the longer term is especially key, as batteries are a 10-to-15 year investment, and the market is evolving so rapidly that what applies today is set to change in the years to come.

For example, the growth in electric vehicles means the requirement for electricity capacity is set to increase dramatically, so businesses need to consider how they might accommodate this.

Become risk aware to protect revenue streams

Understanding risk is also important. For example, the future impact of industry changes such as policy modifications and Ofgem’s current Targeted Charging Review.

Increasing your knowledge of operational and market risks is also important – and why revenue diversification is key for risk mitigation.

For more information please contact our energy experts at Energy HQ, npower Business Solutions, by calling 0800 994 9382 or email us at [email protected]

Check out the DSR Clinic from Energy HQ here.

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