BATTERY technology could provide an opportunity for farms to ‘break free’ from the restraints of their current grid connection capabilities and use energy more efficiently.

“Battery storage is like a grain store,” explained Dr Simon Le Blond, consultant at Swanbarton, when speaking at the recent Energy Now Expo in Telford. “It allows the producer to store energy produced on farm for use or sale at the most opportune time.”

As well as enabling the management of ‘peak power charges’, battery storage could also help to overcome grid and network restraints in rural locations, that may have previously limited diversification, or expansion of the farm enterprise.

“Where battery technology is co-located with an existing renewable energy scheme, energy storage can help to balance energy demand on the grid, and to save money on purchasing electricity," said Dr Le Blond.

Also speaking, Mark Newton of Fisher German added that with 500MW of battery storage already in the pipeline, green energy demand was only likely to increase as the focus on electric vehicles grew.

“There are a number of large-scale battery storage developers who are looking for farms with one or two acres of land for projects up to 50MWs to host these types of projects, and paying rents of up to £150,000 per year,” he explained, adding that although the cost of such a scheme can add up to around £500,000 per MW, the payback for a developer can be between five to seven years.

A total of 3134 delegates attended the Telford event across the two days, showing that the demand for renewables isn’t over yet.

“The UK has a target of low carbon generation meeting 85% of our energy requirements by 2032,” said event director, David Jacobmeyer. “Alongside the numerous renewable technologies that can contribute towards this target, battery storage will continue to be an exciting area of development, particularly for the agricultural sector.

“The energy storage theatre was our most popular feature again this year,” he added.