I recently visited a manufacturer of battery and power control electronics, located in Sheffield, to take a look at the technology they are using to control electricity demand at the user level.
‘Powerstar’ make equipment that incorporates a modest capacity of battery power to shape load on sites; reducing the load in high price periods and incorporating fast response, which can be triggered by signals from National Grid when the system electricity frequency starts to slip. For the farm size installations, battery capacity might be as small as 200kWh but that’s adequate enough to shuffle load around to make a difference and earn some money.
The economics start to add up when income is included from working with Firm Frequency Response contracts, peak lopping at high demand times and reducing site load by optimising voltage. Add all this together and you can start to see how the rather expensive kit might just make a good investment, probably paying back in six or seven years.
The key to making it all work is to drive down purchase price and make sure that all the contract mechanisms are put in place to get the most income. It’s a complicated business and requires electricity tariffs to be set up to take the best advantage, as well as ensuring that control systems are in place that can respond to the price signals from the system.
Here at FEC Energy, we offer a variety of trading products that can make these systems work economically for you. If you are interested in getting into the battery revolution, please give us a call.