Battery storage systems

By storing surplus energy produced, an efficient battery storage system can enable you to derive even more benefit from your renewable energy installation. Stored energy can be used when grid energy is at its most expensive or when there is on site demand but little or no renewable generation (such as at night-time and in winter months for PV, or when there is no wind to drive turbines).
Dulas installed its first battery storage project over 25 years ago. Ever since, we’ve applied our technical knowledge across hydro, wind and solar PV to deliver solutions that deliver the maximum possible benefit for each and every client.
Effective control of any battery storage system is the key to getting the best returns and how this is best achieved will vary for each individual client. Dulas’s highly skilled staff hold the technical knowledge to understand each site’s specific needs, then design and install a renewable energy storage solution – along with an intelligent control system – that maximises return on investment.

The main considerations in specifying a battery storage system include:

  • Your energy demand and cost profile
  • The capacity of your electrical connection
  • The capacity of the renewables system to be integrated
  • What you want to achieve with your system
  • Location of technology (space requirements, inverter size, distance to meter)
  • Battery Bank on Solar PV Energy Storage site
  • Control Panel on combined Solar PV and Hydro Energy Battery Storage site

Independent generators and large consumers of power are already installing commercial-scale battery storage solutions, allowing them to store both intermittent onsite renewable energy as well as charging from the grid, to sell when it is most profitable. Storage projects can also earn money by providing a range of other National Grid services, such as Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) or Firm Frequency Response (FFR).

To identify what makes a really suitable opportunity you need to understand three core pieces of information:

  • Load profiles (production and consumption) of your site, ideally down to minutes or seconds for a 12 month period
  • The electricity contract
  • Battery types, characteristics, price and performance

The commercial benefits for having battery storage on-site are vast a varied and include;

Demand-Side Response (DSR)

Energy storage can be used to lower your consumption from the grid during peak demand, reducing charges such as DuOS (Red, Amber, Green) and TnUOS (Triads).

Grid Scale Renewable Power

Energy storage can also smooth out renewable generation, helping reduce peak generation loads. This is especially useful on sites which have a potentially high yield but weak grid access. It can also reduce the size of export requirement by smoothing out the peak generation periods and spreading them over 24 hours. As a result, the cost of grid connection in some locations can be considerably reduced.

Frequency response

The National Grid must maintain a continuous balance between generation and consumption across the UK. Due to this, the grid pays varying amounts of money to those who can reduce consumption and/or feed generation into the grid within a short period of time. The amount of power and the speed of response that any one business can provide to the grid, either through reducing demand or through generating extra energy, is directly linked to the amount of potential revenue that it can claim.

Battery storage can help businesses be active in this lucrative market. It allows a site to reduce its demand by pushing energy back into the grid, and can also potentially provide backup for critical services on the site in the event of grid supply failing. Battery storage is able to respond much more rapidly than some more common forms of accessing this market through STOR (Short Term Operating Reserve), for example diesel generators. This speed of response can provide access to an enhanced revenue model.

Payback & Financing

Battery storage helps your business be more energy resilient. It provides potential extra revenue and, if linked to on-site generation, it demonstrably helps your business to operate in a ‘greener’ way. However, IRRs and ROI can often only be achieved over longer periods than many companies would feel comfortable with.

Fortunately, the technology is now gaining more interest from the financial sector. Many investors now provide off balance sheet financing, enabling you to benefit immediately from having storage on site without having to take an immediate and large financial hit.

Our knowledge of utilising battery storage technology at all scales extends to the different financing options available, which we will be happy to discuss with you.