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BEHIND-THE-METER – STORAGE SIMPLIFIED

In the Storage Simplified series Powerstar aims to provide a concise summary of terms which often appear in the discussion surrounding energy storage but due to numerous acronyms in such as fast-paced market,can often seem like a foreign language to those unaccustomed to energy storage, or even the energy industry as a whole.

Behind-the-Meter

This article focuses on the term Behind-the-Meter, which is often abbreviated to BtM, a particularly interesting to topic to Powerstar as the Powerstar VIRTUE energy storage solution is a market leader in the BtM Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) market.

BtM is often used to describe an energy storage project but few people would be able to differentiate between a BtM and a utility scale, also called grid scale, in front-of-meter and occasionally not specified, making it confusing unless explicitly told.Behind-the-Meter market leader Powerstar VIRTUE

In its simplest definition, BtM is the utilisation, predominantly by industrial and commercial (I&C) organisations, of battery energy storage systems on its site for the benefit of the business. In contrast, grid scale solutions are often deployed to be utilised to reinforce the grid directly and help balance demand.

The term Behind-the-Meter arises from the way in which electricity bills are formed. In the majority of cases I&C organisations will have an electricity meter and receive its electricity through a utility while the meter measures how much electricity is used which is then reflected on the bill.

The role of energy storage in this scenario is simple, the ability of the end user to store energy means that less energy is received directly through the utility and therefore does not pass through the meter, consequently lowering the total electricity bill in addition to a reduction in energy consumption.

Despite the idea of BtM being simple it can still be difficult to decipher whether a specific project is BtM or not. A simple rule of thumb that is often used in the industry is that if a particular project will deploy 10MW or less then it is likely to be BtM and anything above this is likely to be utility scale.

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