Argonaut Power (Argonaut), Ingenious’ flexible energy platform, has today announced that it has partnered with Northumbrian Water (NWL) to pilot the use of large scale battery storage at a number of the utility’s sites across the North East, Essex and Suffolk.

The announcement puts Argonaut at the forefront of storage for commercial and industrial (C&I) customers, offering long term flexible solutions and demonstrating the company’s leading innovation capabilities across Energy Transition.

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Behind the Meter (‘BtM’) storage can help manage energy loads and reduce electricity spend; batteries can be charged at low cost during the night to then power the company’s sites during high-cost evening peak times. Batteries can also help the National Grid to balance supply and demand as well as grid frequency across the UK.

The batteries themselves are ‘second life’ li-ion units recovered from Renault electric vehicles, with energy storage engineers Connected Energy providing the technology. This represents a great example of three companies working in close partnership in the circular economy, helping to tackle waste and increase sustainability of storage assets. Strategic advisor, Ikigai Capital, was fundamental in creating a bankable structure for the project.

The three companies will work together to develop the projects, with Argonaut fully funding the investment costs. Argonaut will also manage the operation of the systems and benefit by taking a share of the total income achieved.

An installation and revenue sharing contract is expected to be signed by the end of the year with the batteries in full operation by the autumn of 2019.

Argonaut Managing Director and Ingenious Senior Investment Director, Roberto Castiglioni, commented: “We are excited to enter into an exclusive partnership with NWL to install and manage BtM storage on some of their critical sites. NWL has been very collaborative and supportive in structuring the projects. We believe we have created something unique and innovative through a combination of technical and financial engineering. As far as we know, we’re the only fully-funded solution offering 30-year storage installations to C&I customers under a revenue sharing agreement, boosting site profitability.”

Anthony Browne, Energy Development Manager at Northumbrian Water, said: “Large scale battery storage is going to be a major feature of the electricity industry going forward and this is a great opportunity for us to develop our understanding of these processes. We expect that having batteries on site can also help us obtain more value from any renewable energy we generate on our sites.  The bespoke solution was based on addressing the various elements of NWL’s strategy, such as local content, innovation, sustainability and consumers value, and we were certainly impressed by Argonaut’s ability to deliver results in line with our expectations.”

Connected Energy CEO, Matthew Lumsden, added: “It’s great to be working with Argonaut and NWL on this opportunity.  This project has been built with innovation and sustainability in its DNA, from our second life battery energy storage systems through to the new operating and financing models.  We’re very proud to be involved in a project that will demonstrate how companies installing BtM energy storage can generate new revenue streams while simultaneously bolstering their sustainability credentials.”