We hope that you are all keeping safe and well through the pandemic. This month has necessarily seen reduced developments due to the lockdown. However there are some things progressing, not least that a number of funds are showing significant interest in investing in us and/or our plants: more on that if and when things concretise.
National Grid is moving ahead with various consultations, all of them pushed and supported by Ofgem. They have consulted heavily with us on three topics in particular:
- Early Competition Plan (tendering for alternative solutions to network upgrade needs – this also links into their Constraint Management theme);
- Distributed ReStart (new sources of Black Start capability); and
- Stability Pathfinder (providing inertia, real reactive power/load and other stability services).
They are well aware that Storelectric can (depending on location) deliver all of these par excellence, and our contributions are directed towards ensuring that new technologies and small developers are not excluded by rules and processes. These contributions have been very much welcomed by National Grid.
A question has been asked: all these updates sound very positive – is the future really as rosy as that for Storelectric?
The answer is binary.
- If we get sufficient investment to build (or at least, as a first stage, to develop) a first-of-a-kind plant, then yes: we have such interest in financing follow-on plants around the world that there will be little stopping us becoming a unicorn business.
- If we don’t, then no: these technologies all use power station sized equipment, and so can’t be built small. This means a heavy investment into a first-of-a-kind plant but this will be profitable:
- In the UK at least, a stand-alone plant will be profitable (Baringa have analysed the gross margins);
- Globally it will be profitable if built in conjunction with renewable generation owing to the large synergies between storage and renewables – see the document Developing Projects on Weak and Saturated Grids;
- Globally it will also be profitable if built by network operators as the most cost-effective means of evolving into a Net Zero or high renewables grid – see the document Storelectric Makes the Energy Transition Affordable.
Last month Mark’s Blog was on The Lockdown – A Partial Test of the 2030s Grid, which showed the actions National Grid was taking just to maintain sufficient inertia in a grid operating with renewable generation as a very high proportion of demand. Mark has updated this blog since then as National Grid has provided information on the costs of doing so, £10-20m per day for 3-5GW of interventions, and their forecasts of such costs in future which are (for the five summer months) approaching £1bn p.a. You can read the updated article here.
Over the next 2-3 months Storelectric will be refining our mailing list for these updates in order to control costs by continuing to send them out only to those who are interested. We will continue to mail anyone who clicks on any link in any email, and remove those who don’t. If you’re removed but still wish to receive the emails, you can easily re-sign here. If you wish to remain on the list, you may be interested in one of the articles above, or one of our past articles:
Thought Leadership Blog
Doing My Bit
Mark was recently asked: do renewable power plants impact the environment? Quite obviously the questioner was seeking to justify pursuing the fossil-fuelled status quo by nit-picking faults in the case for clean energy. This led Mark to reflect on some environmental aspects of how we should live.
Another Award – CorpToday
Storelectric has won another award, Most Outstanding Compressed Air Energy Storage Specialists 2021 from CorpToday magazine / plarform. We have been winning all manner of awards since 2013. All we need now is the investment to build a plant…