Green energy firm Ecotricity is to build a 2.5MW battery storage facility, laying the foundations to install batteries alongside its own wind and solar farms as well as business customer sites.
The firm, which supplies some 5,500 business customers across 13,000 sites, said it had not yet selected a battery supplier and company boss Dale Vince emphasised the project was a trial to gain further experience and balance its portfolio.
Energy suppliers face stiff penalties – called imbalance penalties – if their generation and demand is out of sync. Because the electricity system works on a half hourly basis, they have to ensure they are in balance 48 times a day. From next year, those penalties will steepen, so energy suppliers are looking at mitigation measures. Contracting customers’ flexibility is one method, with suppliers such as Dong allowing customers to name their price for shifting loads and splitting the difference with them if doing so is cheaper than paying an imbalance penalty.
Battery storage is another way of balancing portfolios and allows asset owners to both consume and deliver power, increasing their options to mitigate costs and generate revenue. Ecotricity said it planned to monetise its battery by delivering balancing services to National Grid. The learnings will then be applied to its asset portfolio.
“We are looking at a number of options which include both standalone systems and integrating systems for our own projects and customers,” an Ecotricity spokesperson told The Energyst.
The firm counts Universal Music, Lush, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Enterprise, Riverford Organic and Vivienne Westwood among its business customers.
Battery storage will be discussed at The Energyst’s DSR Event in London on 7 September. The conference is free for end users. Request a seat here.