A planned commercial and industrial (C&I) energy storage project in England could increase onsite solar consumption to the point that no power will be drawn from the grid on some days of the year.

A distribution centre in Swindon, west England for B&Q, a prominent homeware retailer, will make better use of the electricity generated by the site’s rooftop solar array using energy storage under plans by B&Q’s owner, Kingfisher.

Young adult doing professional training on solar panels plant

Currently, around 35% of generation from the centre’s 552 solar panels is exported to the grid. However the addition of a 756kW battery system will mean that 40% of the power generated by the solar panels can be stored and released back to the building to provide power during periods of peak pricing, or support overnight operations.

Kingfisher, a home improvement retail group with multiple subsidiaries and a global presence, says the Samsung batteries, to be installed by UK developer Solarcentury, will reduce the site’s grid power consumption by 31% with some days seeing zero grid energy used on site.

‘Energy prices aren’t going down’

Christian Mazauric, chief executive of B&Q UK & Ireland, said:

“The installation of energy storage batteries at the Swindon distribution centre marks an important milestone in our and Kingfisher’s commitment to reduce grid energy consumption.

“UK energy prices aren’t going down. Battery energy storage will help us to better manage the energy we generate on site and will move us even closer to our sustainability goals.”

Read more: Energy Storage News