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Battery Storage: Sevenoaks, Kent, Winterdale Cheesemakers

At a bewildering time in the Solar Industry The Little Green Energy Company has seen this as a time to grow and capitalise on its strong position in the renewable marketplace.  Already heavily involved in the new build sector, we have seen a renewed interest in both the commercial and domestic markets, partly being driven by the emerging storage and EV sectors which we have also moved into.  With an emphasis more on the technical aspects, quality components and detailed installation processes over sales, we feel that we can offer both great customer service as well as bespoke designs tailored to our customers needs.

The Little Green Energy Company have embraced the storage market this year and been introducing the Tesla Powerwall product to its customers.  After careful consideration it was decided that the Powerwall offers the best solution and value for money for our customers.  When designed correctly it complements an existing Solar PV system very well and also is a great addition to any household or business with the ‘Time of Use’ feature in which you can charge directly from the grid.  TLGEC have been pushing the boundaries of what is available currently on the market.

It was particularly interesting to be involved in this project due to the nature of the business it was for.  Winterdale Cheese is a family run business and is proud to be the UK’s 1st carbon neutrally produced and delivered cheese producers.

Situated in the heart of the North Downs in Kent is a very special family run business producing cheese daily for the likes of Fortnum & Mason and Gordon Ramseys Restaurants up in London.  They have won various awards including the Green Apple Award for sustainable business.  Already boasting a 10kWp Solar PV system and ground source heat pump they also have electric cars used to deliver the cheese to their customers.  They have also just received planning permission for a wind turbine.

The customer approached us last year as he felt what was missing was a way to harness and manage his energy usage.  The business itself does not use a great deal of electricity but does have some 3 phase equipment.  They had a passion though to benefit more from the power already being generated and to use this power when required.

We got involved and designed a 3 phase Tesla Powerwall system that would capture the excess power produced by the Solar PV and soon to be installed wind turbine.  Not only that but it would allow the customer to take advantage of buying electricity at cheap rate and ensuring they come off grid at peak times.

This was one of the first 3-Phase Powerwall systems installed in the UK.  Working closely with Tesla, the system gives them 40.5kWh storage with a potential charge/discharge of 15kW (5kW per phase).  This is currently stage 1 with the idea of doubling the storage at a later date and adding the backup version when available later this year.

Once completed the customer was extremely happy with the result, and now has a cutting edge, state of the art energy management system for their business.  This has taken then a step closer to being completely off grid and enhances their carbon neutral credentials.

The Little Green Energy Company are committed to pushing the boundaries and educating our customers and beyond into the advantages of renewable technologies available to them in their home or business.

Install Info

The storage system installed will store 40.5kWh of electricity.  And has a potential charge/discharge rate of 15kW (5kW per phase), meaning a full charge can be done in under 3 hours.  The overall installation will be charged from the 10kW of Solar PV and future wind turbine.  The installation is also capable of charging from the grid with the emerging smart tariffs.  This size of system will allow complete energy management through the storage of free (solar pv) and cheap electricity and has been prepared for future expansion.”We are proud to be the UK’s 1st carbon neutrally produced and delivered cheese.”  This is a statement we have worked extremely hard to be able to print and one that we hold deeply within the ethos of our business.  Being carbon neutral is great, however we are striving to be independent form the grid completely, generating all of our power locally through green technologies.

The Solar PV contributes generously to our energy usage during the day, however obviously has its limitations in the evening and through the winter months.  Looking for alternative sources of power led us down the wind turbine route.  This will be great, hopefully filling in some of the gaps left by the PV.  However, we are still governed by the weather patterns as to when we can generate power.

Another technology we have been following with interest is the battery storage market.  Although in its early days there are certainly a couple of options that are outperforming in the market and we decided that a Tesla Powerwall 2 would be the best solution for our business, giving us 3 phase power, great storage capacity and a high charge/discharge rate – which some of the competition just can’t provide.  By adding battery storage we would be able to have much more control over our energy consumption.

The next step was to find an installer we could trust and who could understand exactly what we were trying to achieve.  The Little Green Energy Company had been recommended to us by friends and on looking at their website we were glad to see that they were already working with Tesla and were one of their certified installers.

Our first impressions were very good.  Simon put us at ease with his knowledge of the industry and confirmation of our choice in products.  He took time to understand what we were looking for and what we were trying to achieve.  After the survey we didn’t have to wait long for a proposal that fitted our requirements.  We decided on a 3 phase system ( 3 x Powerwalls), which would give us plenty of storage but also be flexible enough to add too ad a later date should we wish.  It would also allow us to add a backup gateway at a later date to give us power in the event of a power cut.

The staff at Little Green then took care of all the paperwork and registrations required prior to installation.  When it came to installation they did not disappoint.  The installers were a credit to the company.  Not only professional but very polite and friendly.  They did a great job that was very neat and tidy and integrated perfectly with the rest of our installation.  Once complete Vic then ran through how it all worked and answered any questions I had.

We are extremely pleased with the result and have managed to achieve complete off grid for a period of 10 days which includes producing over a ton of cheese and all our electric transport!

This has exceeded our expectations and look forward to seeing how it performs throughout the rest of the year.  We would recommend The Little Green Energy Company as installers to anyone who is considering a renewable energy project.

Customer:Winterdale Cheesemakers
Product:Battery Storage
Location:Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15
System Size:40.5 kWh
Battery Type:Tesla Powerwall 2

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