In a time of heightened awareness of the need for energy security at local, national and international levels, battery energy storage systems, such as the Cactos One, offers a localised solution for businesses and consumers to ensure back-up of their electricity supply in the event of outages and interruptions due to unforeseen events, as well as protection from extreme short terms pricing movements in the electricity markets.
In addition to the geopolitical drivers forcing all of us to consider what energy security means for our own daily lives and businesses, other factors such as those seen in the United States of America, and particularly Houston in recent week, also show the multifaceted nature of the challenges of ensuring grid resilience and stability and the importance of having back-up capacity at a localised consumer level.
On 13th May 2022, the Grid Operator of Texas, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), called upon consumers to reduce their electricity use over the weekend period after multiple generating plants went offline during a heat wave. ERCOT’s public statement said that “six power generation facilities tripped offline resulting in the loss of approximately 2,900 MW of electricity” — enough to power more than 580,000 homes1.
The high temperatures experienced in the region pushed up demand from consumers due to use of air conditioning, contributing to a steep rise in wholesale prices. The call for residents to conserve came after prices briefly soared to more than $4,000 per megawatt hour (MWh), from less than $6 MWh earlier the same day.
Outages of key power generating equipment such as those referenced above pose not just a major risk to supply, inconvenience and disruption to consumers, but can have real time impacts on critical consumer and businesses needs, potentially resulting in blackout events or as a minimum, having significant cost implications.
Use of a decentralised energy storage system, such as the Cactos One, which has reserve power, peak shaving, load shifting and/or microgrid functionality, provides a unique means for energy consumers to protect themselves from such events and also offer support to the grid operators in avoiding such scenarios by offering both demand side response optionality and ancillary services.