The business of energy storage

The business of energy storage

Commercial and industrial facilities are driving uptake of energy storage. Sagnik Murthy, Business Development Manager for battery energy storage solutions explains why and how operators of commercial and public buildings, as well as manufacturing and heavy industry are finding the value in energy storage.

We are seeing a growth in behind-the-meter energy storage applications in the commercial and industrial sector. This is driven by demand for energy efficiency, energy resilience and additional revenue streams.

Energy efficiency

From an energy efficiency perspective, the energy storage solution provided by ABB using its Energy Storage Inverters (ESI) can support power quality by improving low power factor, balancing voltage and mitigating harmonics. These all lead to better operational efficiency, with benefits being reduced energy bills, less downtime and lower maintenance requirements.

Energy storage can also be used to store energy at times when renewable energy is plentiful or low demand and return it during peak demand periods. This can keep consumption in check in response to dynamic pricing during a triad period or to new penalty peak energy prices introduced by Ofgem on 1st April 2018 under the DCP 161 legislation. These are intended to encourage consumers to stay within the half hour peak consumption agreed in their energy contract.

Energy resilience

The second main driver of storage is energy resilience, which is enabled by the backup power capabilities of battery modules. In the case of an outage, the facility can turn to the backup energy to ensure unbroken power, whether for process uptime or customer safety and comfort.

Additional income streams

Many of the first grid-connected energy storage facilities were constructed to earn fees by delivering frequency response services to the grid. Used in this mode, a battery will react rapidly to absorb and inject energy from and to the grid. This maintains steady voltage to keep the grid stable – for which the grid operator pays a fee.

National Grid allows participants with 1 MW of energy storage capacity to provide frequency response services – and sites with smaller systems can participate in the market through a demand aggregator.

Another potential revenue stream can be found from the additional flexibility that batteries give to participate in demand side response (DSR). National Grid and other grid operators are introducing such schemes to balance supply and demand by drawing on energy generated or stored on industrial and commercial sites to supply to consumers elsewhere on the grid.

As a more recent development, aggregators are now establishing DSR schemes, where they take a percentage of the energy sold to manage the interfaces between the grid operator and the DSR participants. This enables many small commercial and industrial operators to participate in National Grid’s frequency response, reserve and capacity energy markets.

Getting a piece of the action

ABB has a number of solutions to give commercial and industrial customers the flexibility to get the benefits of greater energy efficiency, resilience and additional income from energy storage. We have a portfolio of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) that integrate our own Energy Storage Inverter (ESI) units. These are installed behind the meter to provide modular and scalable solutions 50 kW to 2.5 MW that enable access to energy markets, ancillary services and energy savings.

ABB supports these with an installation and commissioning service, plus warranties and long term service contracts that support an expected lifetime of at least 10 years for the BESS and 15 years for the ESI units. We can install smaller systems indoors in a suitable plant room, where climate control and fire suppression systems are essential. We supply larger systems for outdoor installation in containers or as modular units with self-contained cooling and fire suppression.

Energy Storage Inverter

The ESI is based on power electronics IGBT (insulated-gate bipolar transistor) technology. This supports power quality and integration of intermittent renewable energy by providing reactive power, voltage balancing and harmonic mitigation. It also supports energy resilience and saving in several ways. It has black start capability, meaning that it can restore power quickly in the event of an outage without an external energy source. It can also support resilience by enabling operation in island mode and supports peak shaving by controlling the flow of power. This controllability also gives it the capability to support network stability by controlling injection and absorption of energy.

Urban community in Copenhagen

ABB has delivered lithium-ion (Li-ion) BESS for Radius, Orsted’s electrical grid division, at the new harbour district of Nordhavn in Copenhagen. The BESS is integrating solar and wind energy, which meet the majority of the community’s energy needs. Fully charged, the battery can provide power for about 60 homes during 24 hours. The BESS also provides additional functionalities such as peak load shaving and frequency response which is helping Radius learn more about how new technological solutions and market mechanisms interact with the grid.

ABB’s BESS solution

- Power conversion system based on the ESI that connects to the customer’s existing 400 V supply.

- Lithium-ion energy storage modules supplied by reputable third party battery manufacturer.

- Controller such as ABB’s AC500 to act as communication interface with the client’s existing energy management or SCADA system.

- Optional medium-voltage transformer and switchgear if the output needs to be stepped up to 11 kV or higher.

- Technical services if required (factory or site acceptance tests).

- Optional service contract.

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