The Gyle Premier Inn in Edinburgh has installed the 100-kilowatt battery to help power the 200-room hotel at busy times. The lithium ion battery is three meters cubed in size and weighs five tonnes, making the van-sized unit one of the largest batteries in use in the country.
The battery takes two hours to charge using power drawn from the national grid during off-peak periods which is then used to provide electricity for the hotel during peak times for up to three hours. It therefore enjoys a net gain of an hour’s use of electricity, while simultaneously reducing the peak-hours strain on the grid.
Using the battery will save the hotel about GBP 20,000 a year in energy costs while also reducing its carbon footprint. It forms part of parent company Whitbread’s commitment to cut its carbon emissions in half by 2025.
Scotland is a major producer of renewable energy, sourcing much if its electricity from wind and solar power. However, one drawback of renewables is that unlike burning coal, wind speeds and sunshine levels can be unreliable, so using batteries can successfully plug the gap in energy availability.
Batteries can also be used for years and their core components recycled once they come to the end of their productive lives. Hotels, and the commercial real estate sector in general, have been blamed for being major contributors to global warming, partly due to the heat they generate, making energy-saving measures essential.
“Industrial batteries used by, for example, telecom operators, utilities and the real estate sector, have great potential to lower the overall global carbon footprint,” says Chris Berkouwer, Portfolio Manager with Robeco Global Stars Equities.
“These types of energy storage systems help power grids run electricity more efficiently while also catering for renewable energy integration into the grid. Renewable energy players such as wind turbine makers and solar companies are actually joining forces with the car battery industry to address erratic electricity output.”
“Investment opportunities abound, albeit a crowded area too with many competitors hungry to get a piece of the pie. Chemical companies providing active materials for battery use as well as industrials able to develop large scale production lines for battery producers, are likely best positioned.”