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BESS Could Earn You Revenue During Your Christmas Shutdown






Many factory floors will shut down over the festive period, giving staff a well-earned break. However, with many manufacturers still struggling to make up for lost productivity due to the impact of COVID-19 and struggling with rising energy and material costs, a week or more of shutdown can be challenging.

However, with production lines stopping for what may be the only extended period of the year, it can be a good point to take stock of how a site is operating and what infrastructure improvement options might be out there. A growing number of manufacturers are turning to Battery Energy Storage Systems to protect their site from power disruption, but this flexible technology could also be earning additional revenue even while the rest of the site is closed for Christmas.

How can a battery generate revenue?

Margins are set to be extremely narrow this winter, with National Grid already introducing a number of mechanics to try to balance out peaks in demand with available supply. One tool they will employ is demand side response, where end users dynamically shift their site’s demand to balance the grid. Energy-intensive industries like manufacturing will make up a large portion of the overall demand side response capacity available to be called upon, and those with battery energy storage systems are uniquely well-positioned to provide support.

While it plays a role in preventing supply disruption, the driver behind end users taking part in demand side response is a financial one. In return for making their assets available to balance the grid when called upon, National Grid provides substantial payments in return. Even when a site is otherwise shut down, an intelligent battery system with the energy management software to allow it to response to the requirements of National Grid automatically will generate passive income regardless. This is in addition to the benefits that it already offers a manufacturing site, which includes more cost-effective and less carbon intensive emergency power than a UPS and a range of additional energy management flexibility.

How an individual site engages with grid balancing services, and the level of remuneration available to them, depends on a number of factors that dictate which services they are able to provide. The amount a site can flex their demand and the speed with which they are able to response to a request from National Grid both dictate which services they can take part in.

These include reserve services, which provide payments for generators or energy-intensive users that can rapidly provide additional capacity when called upon. Sometimes required as quickly as within a minute, Balancing, Slow and Quick Reserve are used to ensure additional power is available or to make up the shortfall following an unexpected outage.

Frequency response services are instead used to ensure that grid frequency remains within required parameters of 50HW plus or minus 1%. For the highest levels of available payments, providers that engage with High Frequency response must be able to respond within 10 seconds of an event that threatens to impact grid frequency, and sustain that response indefinitely.

The ability of battery energy storage to rapidly release electricity back into the grid or draw it off in the case of oversupply makes them ideally suited to a demand side response role. Often, battery operators are able to access a number of different balancing mechanics, using the same capacity to earn multiple streams of revenue in a practice known as revenue stacking.

Find out more about earning additional revenue with a BESS here

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