Twenty Questions You Need to Know About User-Side Energy Storage
2023-10-30 16:36

In the past year, as energy storage technologies have become more established and costs have decreased, coupled with the implementation of electricity incentive policies, there has been a significant uptick in middle and small-scale user-side energy storage projects. Furthermore, the demand for user-side energy storage projects in the market has surged. Despite the growing number of user-side energy storage projects in operation, many people still lack a clear understanding of this technology.

In essence, user-side energy storage refers to electrochemical energy storage systems used by industrial and commercial customers. These systems can be likened to large-scale power banks that charge when electricity prices are low and discharge when prices are high, thereby reducing overall electricity costs. When considering the entire electricity system, energy storage applications can be categorized into three main areas: generation, distribution, and the user side. From the grid’s perspective, these can be further divided into energy demand and power output requirements.

Twenty Questions About User-Side Energy Storage:

1.What Is User-Side Energy Storage?

User-side energy storage, in simple terms, refers to the application of electrochemical energy storage systems by industrial and commercial customers. Think of these systems as substantial power banks that charge when electricity prices are low and discharge to supply power to companies when prices are high. This strategic approach helps in reducing electricity costs.

2.What are the advantages of installing an energy storage system?

I. Peak Shaving: Energy storage systems play a pivotal role in peak shaving, effectively easing the load during peak hours. They also contribute to creating a smoother load curve, which further reduces electricity costs.

II. Balancing Demand Electricity Bills: By facilitating peak shaving and achieving a more stable load curve, energy storage systems can help reduce demand electricity bills.

III. Flexible Capacity Increase: Typically, the capacity of a user’s transformer is fixed. However, installing a suitable energy storage system allows for load reduction through recharging, eliminating the need to expand the transformer’s capacity. This, in turn, lowers the cost associated with transformer capacity expansion.

IV. Demand Response: With an energy storage system in place, customers can participate in demand response programs within the grid. This offers them an opportunity to receive extra compensation without being constrained by electricity restrictions or facing high electricity bills during peak hours.

3.What Are the Key Applications for User-Side Energy Storage?

User-side energy storage finds its primary application in charging stations, industrial parks, data centers, communication base stations, and other locations with well-balanced electricity consumption.

4.What Is the Profit Model for Investment, Construction, and Operation of User-Side Energy Storage?

I. The integrated operator takes on the responsibility of investing, building, and operating the system. Customers do not have to contribute financially; their role is to provide a suitable site for the energy storage system's construction. The revenue generated is shared between the integrated operator and the customer.

II. Both parties, meaning the customer and the integrated operator, share the revenue. The specific distribution of revenue depends on the customer's electricity consumption and the scale of the energy storage system.

III. The customer invests in the construction of the energy storage system, while the integrated operator handles the operation and assures the customer of revenue.

5. What Is the Typical Duration for User-Side Energy Storage Projects?
The usual cooperative period for user-side energy storage projects is approximately 15 years.

6. How Long Does It Take from Contract Signing to Project Launch?
The timeframe from signing the contract to the project’s formal operation generally spans 3 to 6 months. The specific duration depends on the site’s conditions and complexity.

7. What Electricity Standards Must Enterprises Meet for Energy Storage Power Plant Installation?
Currently, national and local governments do not impose specific conditions for the construction of user-side energy storage systems. For instance, in Guangdong province, the minimum required electricity consumption is set at 5 million kilowatt-hours per year, while in the Zhejiang area, it's no less than 3 million kilowatt-hours per year. Higher electricity consumption allows for a larger configurable energy storage capacity within the project.

8. What Is the Required Space for an Energy Storage Power Station?
A 1MWh energy storage power station typically occupies an area of about 10 square meters, taking into account front and rear safety distances of 20-30 square meters.

9. What Are the Site Requirements for Installing an Energy Storage Plant?
The installation site must be outdoors, with no hazardous chemical storage within a 20-meter radius. Ideally, the site should be located in close proximity to the power distribution room, with a distance not exceeding 100 meters.

10. Does Installing an Energy Storage Power Station Require the Owner’s Involvement in Formalities?
The installation of an energy storage power station involves filing on the local development and reform bureau website, a responsibility handled by the integrated operator. The owner's role is to provide necessary cooperation by supplying required information.

11. What Is the Construction Timeline for the Energy Storage Plant? Is Power Disconnection Necessary, and If So, How Long Does It Take?
Once the formalities are complete, the construction typically takes about 1 to 1.5 months. A brief power interruption is necessary during the installation of the grid-connected cabinet, with the shortest outage lasting approximately 2 hours.

12. Who Will Handle the Operation and Maintenance of the Energy Storage Plant? Does the Owner’s Staff Need to Be Involved in Future Operations?
For customers who opt for an integrated operator, the operator takes on the responsibility of operating and maintaining the storage plant after its completion. Additionally, the integrated operator typically provides training to the owner’s staff and offers solutions for handling special circumstances.

13. Will the Energy Storage Plant Impact the Owner’s Base Electricity Costs?
No, it won’t. If the billing is based on capacity, the basic electricity cost remains constant. If billing is determined by demand, the load carried by the energy storage discharge may reduce the maximum demand, potentially lowering the basic tariff.

The energy storage capacity’s design accounts for the transformer’s capacity and its load. Consequently, the capacity demand won’t increase while the energy storage system is charging. If a demand increase is required, the Energy Management System (EMS) will automatically recognize this and stop charging.

14. Does the Energy Storage Plant Incur Losses? If So, Who Is Responsible for Them?
Yes, there are losses, and these have been factored in and subtracted when sharing revenue between the two parties.

15. Is the Energy Storage Plant’s Metering Precise?
Absolutely, all electricity meters installed adhere to national standards and have successfully passed the required tests.

16. Who Is Responsible for Safety Issues in the Energy Storage Plant?
If equipment malfunctions in Party A are a result of Party B’s equipment, Party B is responsible for compensating Party A for its losses. Additionally, Party B is tasked with securing machine damage and property insurance related to the project during contract performance, including bearing the insurance premiums. The insured amount for property insurance should not be less than the actual value of the insured property.

17. Is It Necessary to Interrupt Power Supply During Daily Operation of the Energy Storage Power Station?
No, there is no need for power interruption during the daily operation of the power station.

18. Will the Switching of the Energy Storage Plant Cause Power Fluctuations?
No, the energy storage device will not have a negative impact on the quality of power for the user.

19. Is Emergency Power Access for the Energy Storage Plant Instantaneous, or Does It Require Manual Adjustment?
The switching strategy for the energy storage station must be established in advance. Unlike UPS systems, energy storage equipment cannot achieve fully automatic switching.

20. Will the Energy Storage Equipment Be Replaced When It Wears Out, and Who Will Cover the Costs?
The primary component subject to wear and tear in energy storage equipment is the battery, as its performance naturally declines over time. When the battery’s performance drops to a certain level, the integrated operator will be responsible for replacement, and the associated costs will not be passed on to the enterprise.

Tags:energy storage