The Buzz about Battery Storage

There’s been much excitement over the recent release of details on Tesla’s Powerwall battery storage system. A number of other companies have joined the chorus with AGL and Samsung making announcements on products to be launched later this year and others sure to follow. The buzz about Tesla is not so much the technology, which has been around for as long as electricity, but the price. The 7 kWh Powerwall battery price tag of $3500 is approaching the level that makes batteries financially attractive for a range of electricity consumers. This is great news for all energy users, who have more choice especially if they have Solar PV generating now and are on time-of-use tariffs.

But what does that mean for the ‘average’ consumer? And what exactly is an average electricity consumer? When the industry says ‘average’ it usually means averaged over a large suburb and range of consumers. The actual load profile of a residential home vs a SME vs a commercial – with or without Solar PV will all be drastically different and each will be on a very different tariff. The payback period of any battery system that is offered to consumers will be as unique as their load.

The ability to accurately size electrical storage products such as batteries to a specific consumption profile becomes even more critical when the cost of the battery systems is marginal compared to the cost-saving potential of the company business case. This sizing is something that can only be done with active monitoring and on a time scale that is finer than the billing interval of 15 or 30 minutes.

An energy management platform such as GridAnalytics has the ability to monitor both usage and consumption profiles on a granular level. This will enable the sizing of electrical storage products coming onto the market at the end of this year and into 2016 as well as provide a quantifiable ROI once an investment decision has been made.

Even more importantly, unlike monitoring (which may be offered as part of a battery product), the GridAnalytics energy management platform will provide an independent verification of the operation and balance of your battery storage system.

By Marcy Faith, Energy Services Manager, Acresta.