Thursday, April 11, 2024

Battery energy storage: the final piece of the jigsaw to support building decarbonisation

Energy managers have already achieved significant reductions in energy consumption. The next phases of decarbonisation are much more challenging – but help is at hand.

Energy managers have already made great strides towards decarbonisation, but the hard yards lie ahead. However, help is at hand in the form of a new guide from energy storage experts, Connected Energy.

‘Battery energy storage – a versatile tool for building decarbonisation’ is a white paper for energy managers. It explores the role of battery energy storage in driving the decarbonisation of buildings, with a focus on supporting energy managers to adopt and implement this new technology.

“Energy managers have to think creatively if they are to deliver on the next phases of decarbonisation,” says Matthew Lumsden, CEO and founder of Connected Energy. “Battery energy storage systems can be a very versatile tool in helping them unlock carbon savings in a variety of ways.”

Quick wins

Naturally, most organisations have targeted the low-hanging fruit, which meant energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting, HVAC optimisation and more efficient plant and equipment. This is often supported with employee behavioural change to create a corporate culture of energy efficiency.

The next stage is typically introducing smart building technologies to better control and automate systems that consume a lot of energy. This includes sensors, smart lighting and building management systems that can optimise energy based on demand.

Into the hard yards

The next steps are harder, but Connected Energy’s guide explains three ways a battery energy storage system (BESS) can help:

  1. Load management – Helpful if you are implementing plans to reduce peak energy demand. This might mean staggered use of equipment during peak hours or shifting non-essential business activities to off-peak times. A BESS supports this through programming to respond to loads on site. By providing power during periods of peak demand it reduces reliance on the grid.
  2. Renewable energy – a BESS can store surplus energy generated by solar, for use as and when required. This helps optimise the use of renewable energy, reducing the carbon intensity of your energy consumption.
  3. Electrification – a major pillar of most decarbonisation strategies is the electrification of heat and vehicles. However, both areas require a significant amount of power. A BESS can be vital here as it helps overcome grid capacity constraints, manage peak loads and help your fleet make the most of on-site renewable energy.

Key benefits

A cornerstone of building decarbonisation, battery energy storage can play a pivotal role in enhancing energy efficiency and minimising environmental impact. It can also contribute to reductions in Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

The guide highlights four ways in which a BESS can support building decarbonisation:

  1. Storing greener grid energy from the grid during periods of high renewable generation. This reduces the carbon intensity of the energy you buy from the grid, lowering your carbon emissions.
  2. Capturing excess renewable energy from on-site generation. The intermittent nature of solar and wind can be offset by storing energy during peak generation periods and releasing it during times of low generation.
  3. Overcoming grid capacity issues when installing energy-intensive equipment.
  4. Supporting load management strategies during periods of peak demand, helping to reduce stress on the grid.

Significant savings

Based on real-world data from existing operational systems, Connected Energy calculates that a single 300kW E-STOR system can save you 100 MWh of electricity, which is the equivalent of 18 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

In addition, a huge benefit to businesses looking to decarbonise is that Connected Energy uses second life batteries for its E-STOR product.  This not only contributes to a company’s Scope 3 emissions, but it can also help meet funder requirements for suppliers to actively reduce their own emissions.

Market analysts McKinsey estimate that, in 2025, there will be 800m tonnes of EV batteries ending their first life applications. And this figure will only continue to grow. Finding a solution to reusing these electric vehicle batteries is critical to reduce waste by contributing to the circular economy. Each E-STOR system by Connected Energy provides a positive carbon benefit of 150 tonnes of CO2e compared with a BESS using brand new batteries.

“Energy storage of any kind can deliver carbon savings for buildings,” says Matthew. “However, production of new batteries for BESS comes at an environmental cost. This is where Connected Energy comes in. We have developed a unique solution capable of reusing EV batteries in BESS; creating a system which is better for the environment and goes further to help organisations meet their net zero goals.

Find out more

Battery energy storage is a dynamic and innovative technology which can revolutionise the way buildings can manage and consume energy. To find out more, download the free white paper here: bit.ly/energy-manager-guide

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