Behind-the-meter battery storage: the pitfalls to avoid

In a previous blog we have talked about the many benefits of behind-the-meter battery storage for some commercial and industrial businesses and for some farms and estates. However, battery storage is not suited to all businesses or sites, and not all businesses will have a genuine opportunity or business case for a behind-the-meter battery storage scheme… yet.

Battery storage remains an expensive technology, and the risks of investing unwisely by jumping on this popular band wagon are high if you haven’t done your research and correct planning first.

Not suitable for every business

Behind-the meter-storage is a sensible option for commercial and industrial businesses with a high, year-round demand for electricity and who are looking to cut their energy bills and/or gain additional revenues from National Grid’s response, reserve and capacity markets.

However, the technology won’t suit every business. There are currently relatively narrow circumstances whereby investment in behind-the-meter storage will deliver significant financial performance. Many factors must combine to achieve a normal return on investment aspirations. These include having adequate import and export capacity on the grid at the site, sufficient base load and appropriate demand and/or generation profile to stack the revenues sufficiently.

The site will also need to have historical half-hourly metering (at least a full year) with which to simulate the performance of potential storage schemes – and half-hourly metering is a must-have in order to capture many of the time-of-use-related revenues opportunities. The revenues generated from a scheme can vary widely. Modelling and stacking the revenues effectively requires considerable, niche expertise.

Grid connection and planning rarely an issue

Available grid capacity and grid connection costs can limit the viability of standalone grid connected battery storage sites. However, for behind-the-meter schemes, whilst most sites will already have an established grid connection, it is important the site has sufficient export capacity as well as import capacity available.

If the site does not require an increase in grid capacity, or where reinforcement work is not required, grid connection costs and fees are minimal for a behind-the-meter scheme If the proposed storage scheme is on an existing, operational site, then planning permission is often not a significant barrier.

Proceed with caution

The noise surrounding the battery storage industry has become almost deafening now, but remember, this remains an unregulated market. The risks of being mis-sold are high. The market is growing rapidly, and rogue installers selling the wrong technology at the wrong scale onto the wrong sites is a growing problem.

Achieving sufficient revenues and savings is hard to achieve without the right guidance. We’d caution anyone considering behind-the-meter storage to take specialist, independent advice to avoid being mis-sold and to determine if they have a genuine opportunity in behind-the-meter storage before they invest.

At Roadnight Taylor, our Stop/Go feasibility study can quickly determine if you have a genuine viable opportunity to invest in behind-the-meter storage. We can then make sure you receive competing quotes for the right warrantied technology from at least two of the best-performing installers, and help you select the best aggregator to deliver you the highest revenues.

Contact us

The Roadnight Tayor team will be very pleased to hear from you and to impartially assess your storage opportunity. Contact us on 01993 830571 or email us via our Contact Us page.

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About the Author:

Having worked in the energy industry for over six years, Hugh sits on expert panels for all six the UK Distribution Network Operators (DNOs). He also has a deep understanding of National Grid’s Capacity Market and its various balancing markets, is a regular consultee to BEIS and Ofgem, and is a popular speaker at industry events.

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