Renewable energy investment company, Thrive Renewables, and global developer of renewable energy projects, Aura Power, are launching a joint venture that will offer thousands of UK businesses the chance to use battery energy storage systems to cut electricity bills at no cost to themselves.
The joint venture (JV) will install and operate batteries for medium and large energy users — free of charge — in return for a share of revenues.
The JV will target those businesses that are spending £500,000 a year or more on electricity. Over 8,000 businesses in the UK have annual electricity contracts of 10 GWh or more and are likely to be spending at least £1 million a year, according to energy market analysts Cornwall Insight. The number with £500,000 annual bills is likely to be far larger.
“We are offering businesses a straight forward solution,” said Matthew Clayton, Managing Director of Thrive Renewables. “We take the investment risk, manage the development, and operate the battery to maximize mutual returns. We agree a contract with the customer, they can get on with their core business and save tens of thousands from year one.”
Thrive has invested in, owns and operates a 104-MW portfolio of wind, hydro and solar assets. The joint venture moves it into the rapidly emerging storage market, combining its own funding and behind the meter renewable expertise with Aura Power’s market-leading experience of developing utility scale batteries.
“Increasing flexibility in the UK’s electricity system is key to the continued transition to a cleaner, smarter energy network,” Clayton added.
According to the JV, customers with a mid-range 2-MW battery could save more than £1 million over a 15-year standard contract.
“We are seeking clients with whom we can develop a long-term partnership,” said Simon Coulson, Director of Aura Power. “We have a good product and strong financial backing, and we are already in advanced talks with several clients including a large dairy, a food processor and a tile manufacturer.”
Batteries will be installed behind the meter, offering a range of benefits.
For example, businesses can:
- Avoid the punitive Triad and red zone charges for using electricity at peak times;
- Save costs by charging up when power is cheap;
- Earn money by providing services to the grid such as frequency response;
- Hedge against rising electricity costs;
- Maintain activities during power cuts;
- Correct power quality issues;
- Develop or increase onsite renewable generation;
- Support electric vehicle charging.
Before customers sign a contract, Aura Power will review their electricity usage and bills and carry out a site survey. Customers will then be recommended the appropriate size of battery, from 0.5 MW up, and provided with forecast revenue and savings.