NHS sustainability

Sustainability & power resilience: Crown Commercial Service explains the critical role of battery energy storage systems

Electricity generation is responsible for 23% of UK greenhouse gases. As a health organisation, how you choose to power your infrastructure, from heating and cooling to medical equipment, EV charging stations and IT infrastructure, can have a significant impact on your carbon footprint.

As electricity demand is expected to double by 2050. Battery storage technologies are playing an increasingly pivotal role between achieving green energy supplies and responding to electricity demands. As NHS Trusts continue to develop decarbonisation strategies and implement energy efficiency measures across their estate, it is clear that battery energy storage (BESS) will need to be considered to help maximise net zero development. 

Why is battery storage important and what are its benefits?

Battery storage, or battery energy storage systems (BESS), are devices that enable energy from renewables, like solar and wind, to be stored and then released when the power is needed most, keeping costs down and electricity flowing.

Battery energy storage technology is essential to help achieve net zero faster, accelerating our move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. 

The rise in wholesale energy costs in the last 18 months, magnifies the importance of energy efficiency and the need for NHS Trusts to protect themselves from market shocks. The UK government estimates that battery energy storage technology could save the UK energy system up to £40 billion by 2050, ultimately reducing energy bills and enabling the NHS to focus budgets on patient care.

Electric vehicle charging 

In the case of electric vehicle (EV) charging, solar energy can power electric vehicle charging points using solar panels that capture renewable energy directly. Solar panels typically recharge a 'battery energy storage system' during the day, allowing vehicles to charge when parked overnight. 

Practical tips for implementing battery energy storage systems

Understand your electricity data 

Data is critical to understanding an estate's renewable energy ambitions. If a Trust is considering the installation of a BESS, it needs to ensure it has the right level of data to understand what scale of storage system is required. 

Trusts can work with their Facilities Management provider and utility suppliers to source and collate all annual energy usage data to understand the full demand profile of the estate. On Lot 1 of our Supply of Energy 2 agreement (RM6251), customers can engage with Edf's 'Net Zero' Consultancy, Urbanomy, to create a Net-Zero Roadmap. Edf also offers customers Persefoni analysis software, which can help with consumption monitoring, analysis, and modelling.

Embrace new technologies

Suppliers on our Demand Management & Renewables agreement are constantly exploring new battery technologies that are more efficient and have a greater return on investment for customers. 

Staying aware of the current market trends, especially when considering the whole lifecycle of the battery energy storage asset, is vital, for example, Lithium-ion batteries are still the most common form of battery storage systems; however, sourcing the raw materials required for this standard product will decrease over time. 

Find out more

Our Demand Management & Renewables agreement (RM6314) gives you access to suppliers who can provide design, installation, and maintenance of battery energy storage technology.

Image credit: iStock

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NHE May/June 2024

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