Battery Energy Storage Systems for Business

Battery energy storage systems (BESS) play an important role in enabling businesses to manage energy efficiently. The government has projected that using battery storage and other technologies for heating and transport could help the UK to cut its energy costs by up to £40 billion by 2025

This guide provides an overview of commercial battery storage solutions, the benefits and considerations for businesses, and its role in modern energy management.

What are Battery Energy Storage Systems?

Battery energy storage systems store electrical energy for later use. This technology allows businesses to stockpile excess electricity—whether generated from renewable sources or drawn from the grid during low-demand periods—to use in the future, allowing them to cut costs and/or maintain a continuous energy supply without being reliant on the grid.

What are the Different Types of Commercial Battery Storage Systems?

There are several types of battery energy storage solutions or systems (BESS) available on the market, each suited to different business needs:

Lithium-ion Batteries

These batteries are known for their efficiency and longevity, although they may come with a higher price tag.

Lead-acid Batteries

A more economical option, lead-acid batteries have a longer history of use but require more maintenance.

Sodium-sulphur Batteries

Best for specific use cases that require high-temperature operation and short-duration energy discharge.

How do battery energy storage systems work?

Energy storage works by linking large battery systems with renewable energy sources like solar panels and small wind turbines. These setups are designed to capture part of the energy generated, storing it for use when direct energy generation is less feasible (i.e. in the evenings for solar PV, or during non-windy periods for wind turbines), thus allowing for a continuous supply of renewable energy, no matter the external conditions.

The technology behind these storage systems has advanced to the point where they’re capable of monitoring and managing the timing for storing and releasing energy. This capability is invaluable for businesses that experience spikes in energy demand at certain times. 

Battery energy storage systems can also be used independently of renewable energy generators. Some businesses choose to store energy during off-peak periods, when demand on the grid is lowest and therefore energy is cheaper. They then use the energy from their batteries during periods of peak demand, when energy from the grid is more expensive.

Battery Energy Storage Systems for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Energy storage offers a significant advantage for SMEs. Take, for example, a boutique hotel. Hotels require a substantial amount of electricity to power amenities like lighting, heating, air conditioning, and electronic devices in guest rooms, especially during high occupancy periods or events. A sudden increase in guest numbers can lead to a surge in energy demand.

By using a battery storage system, a hotel powered by renewable energy can ensure that it has a reliable power supply, even during peak usage periods or when renewable generation is low. This reduces the hotel's reliance on the traditional power grid, which is currently mostly powered by non-renewable energy sources. In turn, this supports the hotel's sustainability goals and helps to cut costs on energy bills.

Benefits of Battery Energy Storage Systems

Adopting battery energy storage systems can offer several advantages:

Energy Cost Reduction

Using battery energy storage to supply electricity during peak times can help businesses lower their energy bills.

Enhanced Use of Renewable Energy

When used in tandem with renewable energy generators, such as solar PVs and wind turbines,  battery storage systems can help reduce reliance on non-renewable energy sources.

Reliability in Energy Supply

Battery storage systems provide a dependable energy supply, critical for maintaining uninterrupted business operations.

Reduced Grid Dependence

This technology helps lessen reliance on the electrical grid, giving businesses more control over their energy usage and costs.

Key Points of Consideration for Businesses

When considering commercial battery storage, here are some things you should think about as a business:

Investment and Returns

Although the initial costs can be notable, energy storage systems offer the potential for reduced energy expenses, especially when paired with specialist tariffs, such as the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).

Maintenance Needs

Maintenance requirements can vary, with some systems offering lower operational costs and longer service lives.

Appropriate System Selection

Selecting the right energy storage systems is essential, depending on the specific energy demands and goals of the business.

What Role Does Battery Storage Play in Business Energy Management?

As the UK and other markets increase their capacity for energy storage systems to support a shift towards renewable energy, commercial battery storage emerges as a viable solution for energy management. It supports the dual goals of reducing energy costs and enhancing sustainability efforts for businesses.

Incorporating a battery energy storage system into a business's energy strategy can provide a way to achieve energy independence, operational efficiency, and a smaller environmental footprint. As solar battery storage companies evolve, the technology becomes more accessible and efficient, making it an increasingly practical investment for businesses aiming for sustainable growth.

The emphasis on battery energy storage systems in the UK reflects the broader recognition of its value in efficient and sustainable energy management across different industries. Whether for small-scale operations or larger industrial applications, integrating commercial battery energy storage systems is becoming an integral part of future-proofing business operations against evolving energy landscapes.

Want to find out what battery storage can do for your business?

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Answers to your questions

Can I get business grants or funding for battery energy storage systems?

Yes, your business can potentially receive grants or funding for energy storage systems and other green energy projects. By generating your own renewable energy, you can not only reduce your energy expenses but also potentially earn revenue by selling surplus electricity back to the grid, thanks to the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme, provided your business meets the necessary criteria.

To find out more about how you can create new revenue through the SEG, drop a line to

Can I install a battery energy storage system myself?

If you're planning to install net zero technology like solar panels, heat pumps, EV charging stations, or battery storage to your business or home, you need to register them with your Distribution Network Operator (DNO). This is because your regional DNO will need to assess if your nearby substations have the capacity to accept any energy you’d like to export back to the grid. Installing these technologies on your own could mean you won't qualify for the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) or other government benefits in the future.

How long do battery energy storage systems last?

Just as the battery life of your laptop depends on how often you charge and use it, the same goes for your battery's lifespan. Every manufacturer guarantees a certain number of charges and a standard warranty period, similar to what you might expect with household electronics.

Do I need lots of space for a battery storage system?

Battery systems come in various sizes and are built to be stackable, with the exact dimensions varying by manufacturer. For larger setups that need multiple batteries, setting aside space in a designated room might be required. SMEs can easily mount a single battery on a wall or place it on the ground using a bracket.

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