Economics to Consider
Any organization seeking to include an energy storage system in a project should consider the full economic impact of each proposed storage solution in order to make an accurate assessment in terms of cost per power ($/kW) or cost per energy ($/kWh). Below lists several questions you should ask yourself when considering ANY storage solution, and their answers could have an impact on your total cost of ownership:
- Initial Price: How much does it cost to purchase and install?
- Lead Time: Can the supplier meet my project timeline?
- System Supplier: Has the company or companies ever delivered a system before? With how many companies must I contract to build a complete system? Have these companies worked together before? Who warrants what components?
- Shipping: How much does it cost to ship the equipment to the site?
- Permitting: Are there any special installation or permitting requirements?
- Site Preparation and Balance of Systems: What must I do to prepare the project site for the installation? What transformers and protective equipment are required? Does the manufacturer provide civil, structural, mechanical, and electrical design work for the interconnection?
- Installation and Commissioning: Is installation and commissioning included in the initial price?
- Efficiency: How many kWh can be redelivered to the grid per number of kWh initially stored?
- System Performance: Would the organization be subject to penalties if the response time is not below a certain level? Does the system perform automatically or require an operator? What maintenance is required, how often, and what skill-level is required to perform each task?
- Reliability: How often does the system require repair? How long does it usually take to repair a component, and what skill-level is required to perform each repair? Is there a single point of failure, and how often does it fail?
- Ease of Control Modification: If I need to use the system for a different purpose tomorrow or in 10 years, how easily can I modify the controls?
- System Life: How long do the batteries last when performing a certain application? How much does it cost to replace the batteries? Can the batteries be replaced while the system is operating? How are batteries warranted?
- Recyclability: Who is responsible for ensuring the batteries are recycled properly?
- Spare Parts: What spare parts inventory must I maintain?
- Technical Services and Warranty: What long-term service agreements and warranties does the company provide?