The leisure industry is used to the benefits of electricity storage in batteries, but to date this has always been small scale. The current trend in the energy industry is to move towards large batteries to engage in the energy markets or to maximise the time of charging – particularly if you are paying different rates for electricity at peak and non peak times. The varying charges for day and night time can be extreme and batteries can assist in levelling this out.
Batteries for electricity storage range from the small leisure batteries to grid scale megawatt batteries and are very popular in the parks and holiday industry.
Take for example ‘The Olde House’, a working farm and holiday retreat, situated in North Cornwall, installed six redT energy storage machines, totalling 1.08 megawatt hours.
The Olde House is an early leading innovator in using renewable technology to support its business, adopting solar and biomass generation as well as demand use management. The cost of the installation is being supported by funding from energy services company Centrica who will also work with the site owner to optimise the use of the redT’s energy storage assets.
Many other parks and tourist facilities are considering moving towards energy storage as there are several benefits of having a battery on your park:
- energy security in case of power cuts
- making use of ‘time of use’ tariffs and benefiting from cheaper tariffs at different times of day
- combining solar or wind turbines with storage to enable you to generate and consume your own power on demand, instead of exporting power to the grid
Another consideration for engaging in battery storage is through electric vehicle use. More and more tourist destinations are being asked to provide electric charging points and having a battery on site ensures that the electric vehicles can be charged more cheaply and at night when the vehicles are not being used, particularly if you are co-locating with on site generation. The costs of batteries are coming down all the time and warranties are now available in many cases for at least 10 years. Lenders typically were not comfortable providing pure debt finance for battery projects, due to the level of merchant risk for the revenue streams and longer payback times. But when combined with equity investment from a site owner, then funding is more accessible and asset purchase type arrangements are becoming more common.
From a legal point of view there are a number of documents that should be vetted prior to installation depending on where the battery is being installed, who you are buying it from and how you intend to use it.