The NEC Energy Solutions Blog

5 quick tips for getting an energy storage project started

Many utility operators are aware of the benefits of an energy storage system, but face so many challenges getting a project off to a good start that the prospect is overwhelming. Energy infrastructure is so complex and features so many interdependent systems that you must carefully plan every change you make to the infrastructure. In this context, energy storage projects need to be carefully evaluated, tested at a small scale and analyzed prior to deployment. This combines with the cost of energy storage to leave many utilities in a difficult position when it comes to getting momentum around the start of a project.

It is easy for energy storage investments to remain an abstract idea – something that everybody in the board room recognizes has potential for grid modernization, but nobody is really ready to tackle. While any energy storage project needs to be handled with care, you can simplify the initiation process and streamline your efforts. Following these five quick tips can help you accelerate the early stages of an energy storage effort and help you put the technology in place efficiently.

1. Work with an experienced vendor
An experienced energy storage provider brings all of the expertise gained over diverse projects to bear in getting your initiative off the ground. While you will certainly have some unique challenges an requirements, an experienced vendor can help you identify any pitfalls that you may run into, make it easier to identify the scale you should be aiming at for your project and smooth any logistical rough patches that come up at the project's outset.

2. Ensure your solution provider is consultative
You don't want to just buy a huge array of batteries, install them and see what happens. You are looking for vital insights into the far-reaching implications of an energy storage project. A solution provider that brings consultancy services to the sales process can help you identify the diverse ways batteries will impact your energy configuration and help you both avoid problems and create value opportunities.

3. Analyze regulatory laws
Take a broad approach to regulatory analysis. You need to not only understand the regulations impacting you, but also look at similar guidelines in other regions to identify potential advice that may help you. Having a holistic idea of regulatory laws throughout the industry can help you understand all of the best practices surrounding energy storage and identify the ones that are most appropriate for your project.

"Energy storage projects don't need to be cumbersome."

4. Consider pilot opportunities
Pilot projects are invaluable as you begin to dip your toes into energy storage. Batteries can deliver value in diverse ways, and a few small, isolated pilots can provide vital insight into how an investment will impact your grid configuration.

5. Collaborate with other industry stakeholders
Many stakeholders in the utility industry have already experimented with energy storage in diverse ways. You don't have to try to get through your project alone. Use conferences to network with peers and discuss ways to streamline your project. Build on these relationships outside of conferences, and you can find yourself with an open door to the advice you need to ensure a smooth project.

Energy storage projects don't need to be cumbersome. These tips can help you get started with battery storage and avoid having projects stall before they really get going.

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