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Grid energy storage has a multitude of uses

Grid energy storage facilities can hedge against the highest prices, even out consumption peaks, and ensure a supply of reserve power. They can also be used in the frequency reserve markets.

Oskari Jaakkola, CEO of Cactos Oy, says that rapid electricity price fluctuations were the impetus for the company, founded in 2021, to begin manufacturing grid energy storage systems.

In addition to hedging against rapid price changes, grid energy storage facilities can even out consumption peaks and ensure a supply of reserve power. They can also be used to offer reserve products to the transmission system operator.

Cactos began producing grid energy storage units using second-hand Tesla batteries. Demand was strong, so the company could not allow its production to become dependent on the availability of used batteries. To this end, the company developed a product made from new iron phosphate cells. These cells now account for 90 per cent of the company’s production.

“The prices of the components in the new batteries have fallen so much that a system built from them is already cheaper than one made from recycled batteries,” says Jaakkola.

Grid energy storage systems are acquired by industrial-scale companies with a connection of at least 3 x 63 amperes. Cactos’ smallest unit is 100 kilowatt-hours and its largest is 2.5 megawatt-hours.

One large customer group is logistics centres, where cargo-handling equipment and, increasingly, distribution traffic are powered by electricity. Many logistics centres also have solar panels that provide enough electricity to charge grid energy storage systems. Grid energy storage systems are also being leased for real estate properties, industrial plants, and farms.

“The demand for power in many buildings has surpassed the capacity available from the grid using existing connections, so batteries are needed to even out consumption,” says Jaakkola.

Grid energy storage facilities that work with Cactos’ cloud service participate in the frequency reserve market, which evens out supply and demand in the grid. To do this, smart grid energy storage systems measure the local frequency and either charge or discharge as required.

“We provide our customers with grid energy storage as a service. Our customers are interested in the reserve market because earnings from it reduce their monthly fee.”


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