5 Business Models of Distributed Energy Storage

Author:BSLBATT    Publish Time: 2021-09-16

What Is Distributed Energy Storage System?

The application of the distributed energy storage (DES) system consists of energy storage systems distributed in the power distribution system and close to the end consumers. Instead of one or several large-capacity energy storage units, it may be more effective to use multiple low-power energy storage systems in the power distribution area.

This system is very suitable for the future smart grid and energy market. This system can be a very important part of the distribution system, especially if implemented by the grid operator. The application consists of energy storage units located in the distribution network close to end consumers (such as residential or commercial buildings).

The two main components of the system are the DC rechargeable battery and the bidirectional inverter. The device is integrated in an enclosure suitable for transportation and withstand extreme environments. Distributed ESS has great development potential for remote areas, service industries, households and small industries.

Photovoltaic battery storage system

Main Advantage

  Balancing power generation and demand

  Provides smooth grid integration of renewable energy by reducing variability

  Storing peaks of renewable energy generation for use during peak demand periods

 ● The peak demand tends to be flat, thereby reducing the pressure on the grid equipment

  As the load of electric vehicles increases, supporting infrastructure

Main Feature

  Peak shaving

  Load transfer

  Voltage regulation

  Renewable energy integration

 ● Backup power

What are examples of distributed energy resources?

1. "Selling on behalf of rent" model

Energy storage project developers lease energy storage systems to users to reduce peak electricity bills and demand electricity bills and provide backup power. The lease period can be flexibly set according to the target user or product application. The user pays a monthly rent, covering equipment usage fees, operation and maintenance fees, software fees, installation costs, taxes, etc. Energy storage project developers use third-party funds to purchase energy storage systems, and the stable cash flow generated by operating leases serves as the developer's financing basis.

Most of the monthly rental fees paid by users are fixed amounts. The lease fee is calculated on the basis of the project investment cost, and the difference between the lease fee and the savings in the user's electricity bill largely determines whether the customer is interested in renting energy storage equipment. Take the energy storage lease contract signed by Stem and the user as an example. Sometimes the electricity cost saved by the user is twice the rental fee paid to Stem, and sometimes it is 3 times or 4 times, depending on the actual load reduction of the user every month . According to Stem's estimation, unless users save more than twice the amount of electricity they deliver to Stem, it will be difficult to attract customers to install.

"Leasing on behalf of sales" is currently the most widely used investment operation model in the field of distributed energy storage. Stem of the United States, GreenCharge Networks, Entega of Germany, etc. use this model to provide users with energy storage services.

2. Shared revenue model for saving electricity bills

This model refers to the strategy of sharing energy storage benefits between energy storage project developers and owners. This model is similar to and different from the leasing model. For example, both models require users to pay a certain percentage or a certain amount of savings to owners of energy storage assets. Usually, the rental fee is calculated based on the developer's fixed investment cost, which is mostly a fixed amount, while the shared income model is usually divided according to the proportion of the income. This amount varies according to the amount of monthly electricity savings. The sharing of electricity savings revenue model is relatively rare among home users, mainly industrial and commercial users.

In addition, judging from the actual situation of the current development of the two models, when the shared revenue model is applied separately, the contract period is generally longer, 10 years or more. At the same time, the shared revenue model is often used in combination with the virtual power plant model and the community energy storage model. The contract period of the leasing model shows a short-term trend. For example, Younicos initially provided a minimum lease contract period of 2 to 4 years, but monthly leases can be accepted from 2019. Users only need to pay rent, as well as deployment and disassembly costs, but there will be no additional costs or risks.

3. Virtual power plant mode

Utilities or third-party companies integrate the energy storage systems owned by residents, commercial users, and industrial users and connected to the smart grid through a central control room, and obtain application benefits by analyzing, controlling and optimizing the operation of the energy storage system and participating in grid services . The "virtual power plant" model is exactly the product of energy storage's pursuit of multiple application values.

Distributed energy storage systems that have undergone unified dispatch and management can not only participate in the power market to obtain benefits through applications such as frequency modulation and reserve capacity, but also can exert voltage support for the transmission and distribution system, delay the expansion and upgrade of transmission and distribution, and demand response. value.

According to the forecast of GTM Research, the annual revenue of global virtual power plants will increase from USD 1.5 billion in 2016 to USD 5.3 billion in 2023, and the United States will account for USD 3.7 billion in total in 2023. At present, in the international market, Moixa in the United Kingdom, Stem in the United States, and Sonnen in Germany are all using this model to open up energy storage project income channels for users. The Chinese domestic market, represented by State Grid and China Southern Power Grid Corporation, has also begun to build project access platforms. Layout of virtual power plant business.

In the virtual power plant model, the software (some referred to as "cloud platform" or "central control room") that can aggregate energy storage systems for analysis and optimal control is very important. The software needs to obtain data from the building load in a certain time period (Stem's AI software Athena reads every second), obtain price information from the market, and collect hourly weather information. For each building, each market, and each electricity bill information, the software needs to be managed in real time. When public utilities require demand response, the software can find optimization points to help users save more money.

4. Community energy storage model

A typical case of the community energy storage model is the Sonnen Community project launched by the German SonnenBatterrie company in 2015. According to the plan, its members/users store photovoltaic power in battery storage, and the stored power is used for self-consumption, power transactions between community users, and provision of grid services. Electricity users only need to pay a fixed fee (lower than the electricity fee for purchasing electricity from the grid). Potential hot spots for this model are Germany, the United States, and Australia. Australia has started to experiment with this model in the WhiteGum Valley project since the end of 2016. At the same time, the United States also began to promote this type of model in some communities.

In addition, in the community energy storage model, in addition to the aggregation of multiple points of energy storage in the area for trading, there is also a way to connect many electricity producers and consumers with photovoltaic installations to an independent large central battery system for electricity trading. In 2016, Perth, Australia, Alkimos Beach launched a community trial of a similar model. 100 rooftop photovoltaics were connected to 1.1 MW∙h lithium-ion batteries. Photovoltaic developer Synergy operated and maintained the system. In 2015, the MVV Strombank project began to demonstrate the community energy storage model, using a large-scale battery energy storage system for community power transactions.

5. Other derivative or mixed modes

In fact, there are many derivative or hybrid models of the above models in the energy storage market. The more common hybrid model is a hybrid of the operating lease model/sharing of electricity savings revenue model and the virtual power plant model.

For example, in June and August 2017, Stem, Inc. of the United States aggregated its energy storage projects under the lease mode to build virtual power plants, participate in spot market transactions and respond to dispatch.

Regarding the derivative model, it is currently more common to combine electricity sales and energy storage to provide energy services to users. For example, the German company SENEC uses energy storage and intelligent management systems to provide users with higher value-added energy services through the development of a series of energy service packages, and provides demonstration samples for other international energy storage equipment suppliers or energy service providers.

distribution ESS

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