Exciting times ahead for battery storage

We published our “Making the commercial case for battery storage” report last week, just as the sector is preparing for the Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) auction results. James Graham, Head of Direct Sales, comments on the rapid growth the sector has seen in just the past few years.

I have personally been involved with battery projects since 2013, when I began working with UK Power Networks to develop a commercial agreement with SmartestEnergy for their 6MW battery in Leighton Buzzard.

This was the largest battery project in Europe at the time and our agreement was the UK’s first. The development of a commercial end-to-end process for the battery was pioneering and laid the groundwork for the sectors’ ongoing development and growth.

Since then, the potential for battery storage has rapidly progressed as a result of falling technology costs and a greater than ever need for a smarter energy network in the UK.

The current pipeline of proposed battery projects stands at >1GW - staggering when you consider there was almost no commercial deployment only a couple of years ago.

We are now speaking to developers on a weekly basis about new battery projects and the mood is similar across the board - real excitement about the potential for battery storage but an underlying uncertainty of the scale of the opportunity.

With issues including a limited availability of contracts for schemes such as EFR and the charging of environmental levies which limits the profitability of arbitrage, most are still fine-tuning the investment cases they need to secure funding.

With the EFR auction now underway and contract winners to be announced tomorrow, it won’t be long before we have some clarity about just how many of those projects in the pipeline will actually get built.

I am optimistic that more service mechanisms will follow EFR and as always, this entrepreneurial sector will continue to find ways to get their projects off the ground and make their valuable contribution to our smarter energy future.

To find out more about the opportunities and challenges for battery pioneers, download our “Making the commercial case for battery storage” report here.

> Download the report here

> Read the UKPN case study

Video: The battery storage opportunity

Find out more about how generators and consumers can use battery storage to create additional revenue streams in our short video: