Electricity costs are an intractable problem for many industrials. Complex charges make bills hard to understand and there is very limited scope for many industrial consumers to control the cost. Key periods on weekdays are particularly expensive but reducing electricity demand to lower energy costs would mean an interruption to core business – and purchasing storage storage that could help to alleviate peak usage charges consumes capital that might otherwise be deployed in the core business.
Wholesale electricity prices in the past year have been very volatile and volatility looks set to rise as coal-fired generation retires – National Grid confirmed on Friday 21 April that it had supplied Great Britain’s electricity demand for the first 24-hour period without coal generation since the 1880s, a watershed moment. The decline in large-scale generation and the growth of less predictable renewable energy is resulting in greater price volatility and inexorable rises in network charges to consumers.
Recognising these problems, Grid Battery Storage Limited (GBSL) working in partnership with Siemens has developed an innovative solution where industrial consumers can gain the benefits of on-site electricity storage without capital costs. The consumer contracts with GBSL for a storage service to save on electricity costs and network charges. Contract charges are less than the projected savings from the start so the customer sees a net positive cashflow. GBSL installs best-in-class Siemens SieStorage Lithium-ion storage solutions and operates and maintains the system, providing a Siemens-backed availability guarantee to the customer. A further benefit is that backup power can be offered which can be very valuable to customers with commercial processes that are expensive to interrupt. The arrangement is attractive to industrial consumers of 3 to 50MW which do not already have on-site generation.
GBSL was established in 2015 by two leading industry experts from the electricity project development and funding specialists James McKellar and Andrew Blumfield and their backgrounds are detailed in the attached brief presentation.