Help for ports to overcome electrification barriers

Battery energy storage systems (BESS) can help ports overcome grid constraints, which can be seen as a barrier to decarbonisation. 

Ports are planning major electrification projects ranging from ship-to-shore power to transitioning to electric vehicles and materials handling equipment (MHE).

But British Ports Association (BPA) research suggests 70% of UK ports are already at or near to their ceiling in terms of available power from the grid. Other ports around the world are reporting similar issues. 

Connected Energy’s E-STOR system can alleviate grid constraint issues for buildings and electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs. The BESS act as energy reservoirs, drawing down and storing power during quiet periods, then providing it as needed.

Based on real-world data from operational systems, Connected Energy calculates that a single 300kW E-STOR system can store 100MWh of electricity, which equates to saving 18 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

The firm sources its batteries from end-of-life EVs, which further reduces Scope 3 emissions, as each E-STOR provides a positive carbon benefit of 150 tonnes of CO2e compared with a BESS using brand new batteries.

Matthew Lumsden, CEO of Connected Energy, said: “In many cases if ports want to meet their decarbonisation targets, they will need to upgrade their grid connections or find more cost-effective and flexible alternatives.

“Ship-to-shore capability can require 5MW of power, which is a huge spike. BESS can help meet that demand without putting extra strain on the grid. 

BESS can also make the most of on-site solar arrays and generating revenue by selling energy back to the grid.

Lumsden said: “Solar capture is vital if ports want to increase their use of renewables and cut carbon emissions from energy consumption. For example, operators can store surplus solar energy in the BESS during the day and use it to power their fleets and facilities at night. 

“There are also significant revenue opportunities, particularly over winter time, by using a BESS to participate in grid balancing services such as the UK’s new Demand Flexibility Services initiative which enables companies to be paid for agreeing to reduce the electricity they take from the grid at particular times of high demand.” 

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