Battery storage can help reduce energy spend; batteries can be charged at low cost then power the company′s sites during high-cost evening peak times. Batteries can also help National Grid to balance supply and demand of energy across the UK and add resilience at the company′s sites by providing back up power.
The aim of the pilot is to prove the process′ ability to reduce Northumbrian Water′s energy costs, helping to keep customers′ bills as low as possible. This ties in with ambitious goals outlined in the company′s business plan for 2020-2025, including delivering improvements to the environment and lowering customers′ bills.
This work again puts Northumbrian Water at the leading edge of energy management, and is another great example of innovation for which the company is becoming recognised as a leader, within and outside of the water industry.
Northumbrian Water will be partnering with Argonaut Power, which will be covering the investment costs. Argonaut will also manage the operation of the battery array and benefit by taking a share of the savings and income achieved.
The batteries themselves are ‘second life′ li-ion units recovered from Renault electric vehicles, with energy storage engineers Connected Energy providing the technology. It is a great example of the three companies working in close partnership in the circular economy, helping to tackle waste and increase recycling.
A contract is expected to be signed by the end of the year with the batteries in full operation by the end of summer 2019.
The agreement comes following the announcement in Spring 2018 of a four-year deal between the Northumbrian Water and Danish energy supplier Orsted for all 1,858 of the water company′s sites to use renewable electricity, and the unveiling of plans to work with Lightsource BP to create 10 new solar farms.
Anthony Browne, Energy Development Manager at Northumbrian Water said: "Large scale battery storage is going to be a major feature of the electricity industry going forward and this is a great chance for us to learn how we can benefit from it. We expect that having batteries on site can also help us get more value from any renewable energy we generate on our sites. Again, we expect this to become more important in the future as we develop more and more renewables, so this early learning is important."
Argonaut Power Managing Director, Roberto Castiglioni said: "We are excited to enter into an exclusive partnership with NWL to install and manage BtM storage on some of their critical sites. NWL has been very collaborative and supportive in structuring the projects. We believe we have created something unique and innovative through a combination of technical and financial engineering. As far as we know, we′re the only fully-funded solution offering 30-year storage installations to C&I customers under a revenue sharing agreement, boosting site profitability."
Connected Energy CEO Matthew Lumsden said: "It′s great to be working with Argonaut and Northumbrian Water on this project. This is a project with innovation and sustainability in its DNA, from our 2nd life battery energy storage systems through to new operating and financing models. It′s great to be able to demonstrate how companies installing energy storage behind the meter can generate new revenue streams as well as bolstering their sustainability credentials."