Thrive Renewables and Aura Power are launching a joint venture today (14 June) that will offer UK businesses the chance to use battery energy storage systems at no cost to themselves.

The joint venture will install and operate batteries for medium and large energy users free of charge in return for a share of revenues.

Once the battery is installed, customers are promised immediate cost savings from avoiding premium-cost peak energy charges and income from providing flexibility services to the grid.

Batteries will be installed behind the meter, allowing businesses to avoid punitive Triad and red zone charges for using electricity at peak times, as well as the opportunity to develop on-site renewable generation and support electric vehicle charging.

The joint venture is targeting thousands  of businesses spending £500,000 a year or more on electricity, with steady consumption and spare import capacity. Potential customers could include manufacturers, water utilities, pharmaceuticals businesses, cold storage facilities, hotels and large office buildings.

Customers with a mid-range 2MW battery could save more than £1 million over a 15-year standard contract.

Speaking to Utility Week, Thrive Renewables managing director Matthew Clayton said: “By investing and supplying energy at no cost to the customer, we can help to deliver huge savings by avoiding peak power charges.

“We can help customers access these savings and access the renewable energy market without using their capital to do it. It really removes the prohibitive risk for businesses.”

Clayton added that increasing flexibility in the UK’s electricity system is key to the continued transition to a cleaner, smarter energy network.

During phase 1, the joint venture expects approximately 20 clients to sign up for the battery storage roll out. This would see around 30-40MW of battery storage deployed across the UK.

“We are seeking clients with whom we can develop a long-term partnership. We have a good product and strong financial backing, and we are already in advanced talks with several clients including a large dairy, a food processor and a tile manufacturer,” said Aura Power director Simon Coulson.

Before customers sign a contract, Aura Power will review their electricity usage and bills and carry out a site survey. Customers will then be recommended the appropriate size of battery, from 0.5MW up, and provided with forecast revenue and savings.

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