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The first commercial battery storage solution of its kind in the UK was successfully commissioned and installed in a joint project by The Little Green Energy Company and INTILION AG

Kent-based The Little Green Energy Company (TLGEC) partnered with German company INTLION to design a bespoke solution using their Scalestac battery to optimise energy usage for 97-year old  industrial pump supplier, W Robinson & Sons, based in Essex. The INTILION Scalestac is a scalable solution capable of adapting to high energy demands and was installed as part of a dual solar system at W Robinson & Sons. Thanks to the INTILION battery storage installation, the energy from their existing commercial solar panels (a 100kWp system installed in 2016, and a 207kWp system installed in 2023) can be harnessed more efficiently.

What is commercial battery storage?

Energy storage, or battery storage solutions are battery units that are installed on-site to offer businesses a way to store and distribute electricity as required and also at specific times. Battery storage solutions operate independently from the grid and are capable of offering backup power when needed with the right energy management systems. 

Commercial battery storage can also provide additional power to the site if the grid supply is insufficient. It also protects businesses from potential power outages, and gives commercial companies more control over their energy usage and independence.

What are the main benefits of commercial battery storage?

  • Reinforces and reduces electrical requirements
  • Generates revenue by offering grid services 
  • Provides backup power in case of an outage, avoiding disruption 
  • Captures and stores excess energy from commercial solar panels, thereby saving energy for future use 
  • Helps businesses reach Net Zero 
  • Provides an uninterrupted power supply to support business operations
  • Significantly improves company ESG score
  • Facilitates time of use grid purchasing during cheaper off-peak times, reduces the cost of business energy bills

The INTILION commercial battery energy storage solution

INTILION is our recommended battery storage provider for medium to large scale commercial installations with storage capacity from 154 to 616 kWh and inverter powerup to 400kVA from their Scalestac system. The Scalestac system can be installed within the site building if there is sufficient space, or built into a containerised system. 

They also offer a slightly smaller unit with 73kWh nominal capacity and inverter power between 25-68.5 kVA known as Scalebloc. These smaller units can be connected with up to 16 in parallel to create a larger system. This scaleable battery storage solution is a revolutionary approach to harnessing commercial solar energy. The Scalebloc can be deployed in any location to provide extra power to EV charge points where the grid supply can be limited.

The INTILION commercial battery storage installation phases

The INTILION Scalestac system was installed between the 18th of September 2023 and October 3rd 2023. 

The installation went smoothly, and carefully followed the installation phases outlined below.

  1. Consultation
  2. Financing 
  3. Order placement 
  4. Detailed design phase and schematics
  5. Handover to project management and site meetings
  6. Material securement
  7. Installation and deployment to client

The consultation phase

We had previously installed a 100kW commercial solar PV system for W. Robinsons, and had been actively maintaining the system for the client. The client recently undertook a new factory extension project, and contacted us to provide a quotation for an additional solar PV installation to make use of the newly created roof area. We discussed the primary objective of the site with the client, with a view to future additional loads such as EV charging points and other plans that may be added to the site demand. 

We surveyed the new electrical installation that had been created for the factory expansion and obtained building drawings from the client. 

Our approach to the project was to obtain half hourly data from the client and assess the remaining site requirement for additional solar PV generation through PVSOL modelling. As the site energy consumption was still rather substantial at 295,160 kWh, we developed a whole roof design generating 203,724 kWh and an Intilion Scalestac battery storage system of 150kVA/616kWh to optimise the system self-consumption. The system self-consumption figure was predicted to be 77.6% or 158,074 kWh and this providing 51.5% of the overall site demand. 

The system self-consumption figure can be further enhanced with more battery storage in the future, but we advised the client that this was the ideal starting point to build off of. This all formed part of the initial design and budget system costs.

Financing phase

The client opted to finance the project through the company’s own CAPEX budget, as the payback period for the system was quite attractive at 2.8 years. We provided several modelling options, exploring possible future energy price points and how this would influence the financial performance of the system, before arriving at the optimal solution. We also advised the client on PPA and asset finance options with our finance partner Zestec. 

Order placement

Once the client was happy with the design and system performance, we signed an EPC contract with the client and moved the project to the next phase of detailed design. We could also have developed the project further for a fee covering the detailed design work, but as we already had a good relationship with the client, in this instance the client was happy to proceed.

Detailed design phase and schematics

Following order placement, the detailed design work for the system commenced to validate the initial designs, which included the DNO application, CAD drawings, weight calculations, structural sign off and CDM plan. Following the DNO approval and structural sign off, the project was prepared for handover to our operations department.

Handover to project management and site meetings

Following our internal handover to the operations department, a project manager was assigned to carry the project forward through to completion. The project manager procured the materials required, arranged site meetings with the scaffold company, developed the CDM plan further and met with the client to discuss how the project would be undertaken without impacting the company’s daily operational pressures. The project manager maintained contact with the installation engineers throughout the process with daily progress reporting until completion.

Installation and deployment to client

As mentioned above, the installation was developed with a CDM plan to minimise the impact to the daily operation of the clients business, provide a safe working method for both TLGEC engineers, sub-contractors, the clients own team and ensure the correct stakeholders were in communication throughout. Following the successful installation of the system, O&M procedures were prepped for handover and a meeting undertaken onsite with the client to explain this fully. The handover included setting the client up with access to the systems monitoring platforms, annual maintenance requirements and safe system shutdown procedures. We also approached the client to develop mutually beneficial marketing material such as site drone footage and interviews in order to assist with the clients ESG scoring.

INTILION commercial battery storage installation results

James Deane, managing director at The Little Green Energy Company said; “I am thrilled to have completed our first joint project with INTILION. This collaboration is a significant step towards our shared goals of helping businesses to generate and store their own renewable energy. Combining their innovative technology and our expertise as system designers and installers, we look forward to continuing to work together and making a meaningful impact towards a more sustainable future.”

Intilion were pleased with the results of the installation. Marco Schyja, the on-site engineer who commissioned the system said that; “our Scalestac commercial indoor energy storage system is the perfect solution to optimise the self-consumption of W. Robinson & Sons’ solar systems. The energy storage system will enable the company to utilise an estimated 54,000 KWh/year with a total system consumption of 77.6%.”

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