Business Project Advice or Battery Supply
Mainline Energy can give the client valuable ‘early stage advice’ on the micro-generation and the battery storage options. Above all, an initial steer on the likely suitability of micro-grid project generally. And if so, the specific micro-grid technologies and batter chemistry options worth spending time exploring, in view of the client’s own business needs.
Subsequent and more detailed financial analysis can be provided, if requested.
Through our collaboration with national electrical engineering contractors and international manufacturers of large-scale batteries, we can also assist clients in the commercial appraisal, design and configuration of a project, as well as the actual supply, installation and turnkey delivery of the final onsite generation supply or storage asset in question.
General Company and Micro-gen Strategy
The reactive power market today is crowded. The regulatory environment meanwhile is in a state of flux, with several regulatory initiatives set to unfold in months or years ahead. Consequently, we generally caution clients again spending money on commercial micro-grid projects (especially those relating to bio-mass or other problematic technologies) unless there is joint strategic, or rather ‘security of supply’ benefit as well.
For example, we seldom see ‘standalone’ large-scale batteries purchases which rely solely on frequency response income or co-generation optimisation returns adding enough value in order to justify the large capital commitment involved. Also the market risk, the regulatory risk and – last but not least – the technology risk which each go hand in hand.
That said, the case for installing an onsite battery, say, will be far stronger if it also offers a key resilience benefit which is needed. Electro-intensive manufacturers, financial trading centres or critical support services providers.
In the main, micro-gen assets seldom offer adequate business returns, if they simply reply on existing private wire markets or National Grid auctions relating to frequency responses services which such batteries can provide. However, once if the avoided business cost of supply disruptions and power quality are considered as well as direct commercial losses,
reputation and other consequential damages, then this added value (extra value or alone in itself) may render a micro-grid purchase viable. A battery can also be used to optimise the value of installed micro-generation assets, time-shifting exports into the grid or direct trading on the inter-day OTC or intra-day electronic APX, Nord Pool or Elexon electricity markets for example. As a rule, all of the perceived ‘bonus items’ need evaluating and including into the ‘early stage advice’ equation.
Most alternative energy technologies, both generation and storage, are not without risk. They are invariably expensive as well, at the time of initial purchase and installation as well as day-to-day operation and long-term maintenance of the new infrastructure. All of which need factoring into the equation too.
The cost to a business when energy supply is disrupted or when power quality is impaired is usually severe. Even if Resilience is a necessary insurance policy and micro-generation or storage are automatically justified on security of supply grounds alone, there should still be the imperative to mitigate: to reduce the effective cost of a large-scale battery, say, by commercialising the asset however possible. It is this here, in the arena of trading optimisation, where Mainline Energy can bring expertise and effectively cut the effective cost of Resilience, just as we sought to cut the price of purchase electricity.
This brings us round to our principal concept: the COR battery or Commercially Optimised Resilience battery. The COR battery is first and foremost a resilience battery. But, where spare capacity and flexibility will allow, a battery we can optimise in the National Grid frequency response, private wire and power trading markets, as well as commercialise against any micro-generation onsite. In short, the COR battery is a ‘reduced cost’ resilience battery which offer security benefits and financial benefits to the user. If these do apply and to a sufficient degree then a battery purchase or long-term lease may be justified.
At this point, is worth defining exactly what we mean by resilience
Emergency Power – Resilience
We define Resilience not just as Blackout Protection (i.e. a power cut that may last minutes, hours, days even); Brownout Protection (a momentary loss of power, which can harm sensitive assets or trigger a shutdown, tantamount to a Blackout) and Assured Power Quality, protection from Total Harmonic Distortion (THD). THD is a power quality problem: current noise, feedback effects induced in local wires which can cause electronic systems and electro-mechanical equipment to underperform or simply to fail.
Rising THD in local area networks is an increasing problem that is affecting electro-intensive and business users alike. Exports into local networks of sporadic export generation, chiefly solar, is increasing distortion volume as well as disrupting the balance within local distribution grids. Worsening local power quality levels and an increased number of Brownouts have been the result. Today almost one in ten UK businesses are believed to be affected and report financial losses to some level as a result of a Brownouts or Power Quality issues. Although far less common or likely, Blackouts pose a more serious, if existential, threat to a business which relies on a stable electricity supply.
So a Resilience battery which may address all three issues may offer a net cost-benefit to certain businesses.
A recent research paper to highlight the latest Lithium-ion or Vanadium Redox Flow technologies which may be suitable can be found online at
Consulting and Legal Services
With practical industry experience across North Sea exploration, refining, supply, marketing, power generation and trading, we can bring the industry knowledge and commercial expertise to the task at hand. We offer business development and project management services focussed on reducing their spending budgets and developing energy producing assets, including purchases or mergers with other UK energy businesses.
Over 25 years working in the industry we have established a network of contracts in energy producing, government regulation, trading and energy-intensive-user circles which we can deploy to help on a client mission, effectively and cost-efficiently.
We can also offer specific expertise or support services on the following areas
Energy Spend Reduction
Savings achieved through improved purchasing, potentially by utilising using our Last Call facility and/or enhanced energy management)
As well as other economy measures, such as ESOS (the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme), Demand Side Management, installation of onsite power generation, battery storage, demand side response and other energy saving assets, and their commercialisation in the flexible response, National Grid auction, private wire and electronic power trading markets.
Company strategy and M&A advice concerning forward investment in the UK gas and electricity markets, including recycling and renewable energy projects, such as Energy from Waste (EfW) and solar. Equally, entry into the UK gas or power trading markets; setting up actual in-house energy trading departments or alternatively virtual trading desks – e.g. advising on utilising our own or another energy entities’ Agency Trading service and OTR routes for entering the UK energy business.
Legal Services, Contract Arbitration and Competition
Comprehensive legal support* is offered in relation to energy and environmental infrastructure projects – from M&A commercial analysis and paralegal support to final representation and deal execution.
Mediation services and expert price determination for disputed or early-terminated long-term oil, natural gas and electricity contracts, pipeline, network and inter-connector capacity and tariffs.
Advice to British and pan-European regulatory bodies I relation to energy market design, competition and Select Committee energy market investigations – references and case research may be available on request.
* this denotes commercial or legal services provided by Mainline Energy working in unison with or directly by Prospect Law
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