On September 14, the Wall Street Journal ran a story about how more companies are using battery power as a way to save electricity. The batteries allow companies to shift energy consumption to the nighttime when energy is cheaper. The story says that in 2015, American organizations installed more than 250 energy storage systems with a capacity of 65.1 megawatt-hours of power. That is about five times the size of installations put in place in 2014. In many places, and particularly in California, the government is pushing batteries as a solution to balance out the increased use of renewable power, as solar power and wind turbines cannot be turned off and on the same way a natural gas plant can.
In other battery news, Fortune reported that Southern California Edison is looking to smooth over the loss of some natural gas power with batteries. After a recent natural gas leak, a key source of gas was cut off and the company went in search of other options. It plans to hire Tesla to provide 20 megawatts of batteries to one substation, and that substation will then rely in part on those batteries during peak electricity usage times. This will allow the utility to rely more on its baseload power that in turn relies less on natural gas.
Would your company like to save some money on electricity costs? In most markets, a utility company will have one rate set by government regulators. In deregulated markets, customers can get around that rate by negotiating directly with the utility company. Most commonly, a company that can store electricity in batteries will negotiate a cheaper rate for pulling electricity off the grid at night. Utilities are generally receptive because this type of demand shifting reduces the peaks and valleys in their demand and allows them to run more power plants steadily instead of having to ramp up in the afternoon and then ramp down at night. The experts at Energy Care can walk you through your options with a free consultation, and we encourage you to get in touch.