ENERGY STORAGE could provide an opportunity for farms to ‘break free’ from the restraints of their current grid connection capabilities and use energy more efficiently.
Dr Simon le Blond, consultant at Swanbarton, told the Energy Now Expo in Telford: “Battery storage is like a grain store.
“It allows the producer to store energy produced on farm for use or sale at the most opportune time.”
As well as enabling the management of ‘peak power charges’, battery storage could also help to overcome grid and network restraints in rural locations, that may have previously limited diversification, or expansion of the farm enterprise.
“Where battery technology is co-located with an existing renewable energy scheme, energy storage can help to balance energy demand on the grid, and to save money on purchasing electricity.”
Mark Newton of Fisher German said that with 500MW of battery storage already in the pipeline, green energy demand is only likely to increase as focus on electric vehicles grows.
“There are a number of large-scale battery storage developers who are looking for farms with one or two acres of land for projects up to 50MWs to host these types of projects, and paying rents of up to £150,000 per year,” he said.
Although the cost of such a scheme can add up to about £500,000 per MW, he said the payback for a developer can be between five to seven years.
But it’s vital that farmers who are approached get professional advice at an early stage from a specialist energy surveyor on the commercial terms for a lease.
A total of 3,134 delegates attended the two day event, showing that the demand for renewables still exists.
David Jacobmeyer, event director, said: “The UK has a target of low carbon generation meeting 85 per cent of our energy requirements by 2032.
“Alongside the numerous renewable technologies that can contribute towards this target, battery storage will continue to be an exciting area of development, particularly for the agricultural sector.”
The RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme was also discussed.
It offers grants of up to 40 per cent of the total project cost for renewable energy and battery storage technology projects.