Solar PV plus battery storage, businesses become prosumers with Enel X
Grow your business by becoming an energy prosumer. Today this step is possible for companies with a photovoltaic system that decide to take advantage of the innovative, integrated energy management services offered by Enel X
Published on 6 December 2019
The efficient management of energy is one of the crucial challenges that businesses need to tackle today to stay competitive. The rise of renewables, alongside the progressive digitalisation of grids, is revolutionising the energy market, leading to a panorama where production is increasingly decentralised and those who once only consumed energy now become also energy producers (prosumers). This new way of generating and distributing energy offers companies new opportunities for business, savings and growth while also ushering in several unknown factors: given the growing public attention to environmental sustainability issues, those who don’t adapt risk being left behind in terms of both competitive advantage and reputation
Photovoltaic and storage, the first step in efficiency
In the race to electrification and innovation, businesses that already possess a photovoltaic system have an advantage. Solar PV panels are, in fact, an essential requisite, offering a range of benefits: from optimising the use of available space to self-producing the energy required for consumption, reducing expenditure on energy, providing independence from the grid and lowering environmental impact, adding sustainable value to everything that is produced.
This, however, is not enough to tackle the challenge of energy management. Dependent on meteorological conditions, solar power is by nature intermittent and non-programmable: the energy produced must be used as soon as it becomes available, and when the sky is cloudy or rainy, other sources of energy are needed. To solve this inconvenience, and maximise the return on photovoltaic, a further step is required: the installation of an energy storage system based on the most advanced and affordable technology presently available – Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries. This system stores the energy produced so that it can be used when needed, while also ensuring continuity in production in the case of blackouts or other emergencies. Enel X not only supports the design and installation of the system with an integrated Photovoltaic + storage solution but also offers clients the opportunity to make a quantum leap in electrifying their businesses, assisting them in taking full advantage of the benefits that the implementation of a solar PV system offers. Through its global product line, e-Industries, Enel X has developed a series of cutting-edge solutions, with an Energy as a Service (EaaS) approach, that are able to provide efficient and cost-saving energy management that is increasingly important to large industrial and commercial businesses, in particular.
New business opportunities
The integrated photovoltaic + storage solution combined with Enel X optimisation software allows businesses to meet requirements for efficiency, resilience, sustainability, saving and the creation of new sources of profit thanks to the availability of multiple tools. The first is the so-called Demand Charge Management, which refers to management of the components of utility bills deriving from the maximum power used or consumed during periods of high demand on the grid.
The integration of photovoltaic and battery storage means that self-produced and stored energy can be consumed while reducing peaks in consumption that have a significant impact on the costs of energy supply. Then there is Time-of-use Energy Management that monitors the fluctuations in energy prices during the day: the battery charges when they dip and renewable energy is supplied when they increase. Demand Response programmes also provide the opportunity to generate new revenue streams: businesses are recompensed for their willingness to adapt their energy consumption at the grid operators’ request during peaks in energy demand or supply, thereby providing the network with greater flexibility and stability.
Monitoring: energy tailored for your business
Once an energy storage system has been added to a photovoltaic system, monitoring it all becomes essential in order to understand, for example, how many kWh of solar PV energy are absorbed during consumption peaks, to check if the panels work correctly or whether improvements need to be made to increase performance. Enel X offers clients the option of adding the Energy Management System (EMS) services to the Photovoltaic + storage solution to meet these needs. This innovative digital platform gathers, analyses and compares consumption data from any of the energy sources in the client’s measurement systems in real time. EMS identifies the company’s ideal energy profile, monitors trends, elaborates and analyses data from all the energy consuming equipment, monitoring them remotely and informing the client of all the opportunities for improvement, energy saving and potential income deriving from energy production. The EMS software is also able to compare, in real time, energy expenses and consumption forecasts for different company premises, carry out comparative analyses using the best practices existing on the market and provide advice with customised reports of various types (energy sustainability, cost). A typical example of how Enel X optimises client consumption is the Remote Control service. Thanks to the use of Artificial Intelligence and the platform’s Machine Learning algorithms, Enel X is able to remotely manage air conditioning systems, making the most of clients’ assets and ensuring savings, removing this burden from operational management.
Automated management of energy expenses
Another turnkey digital solution for the efficient management of energy costs is Utility Bill Management (UBM), a platform that allows large industrial and commercial businesses to centralise the process of invoice collection and payment, for electricity and also gas, water and urban waste. UBM eliminates the need for the client to gather, elaborate, process and manually pay the bills. Furthermore, it carries out an analysis and comparison of bills, generating accurate consumption reports with the details of each individual user and demonstrating how the energy autonomously produced through the solar PV panels affects the business’ energy expenses. The service also provides visibility, both internally and externally, of what the company is doing in terms of environmental sustainability by measuring a series of indicators, including the impact of energy consumption in terms of CO2 emissions. Thanks to the UBM platform, the client is able to measure and analyse the results, set goals for growth and plan the actions and timeframes required to achieve them.
Mission competitiveness, our consultancy services
Furthermore, Enel X offers Energy Consulting services to assist clients on their path to informed and aware management of their energy consumption, helping define sustainable pathways, identify new opportunities and manage the operational risks of the energy world. Our experts work alongside the company’s staff and, according to the specific requirements and market variables, identify new opportunities, promote the use of renewable energy, develop solutions to reduce CO2 emissions, increase the circularity levels of the business, simplify operational management and provide visibility and planning of energy consumption. All this while also maximising the return on the entire value chain deriving from the integrated photovoltaic + storage system with one goal: to transform companies into smart energy prosumers, making them increasingly competitive, so that they can better tackle the challenge of the energy transition.
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