Optimal valuation of wind energy projects co-located with battery storage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The electricity market in the UK has been reformed over recent years resulting in the introduction of ‘Contracts for Difference’ as an option for wind producers. They can use these contracts only if at the same time they enter into other market contracts, i.e., Power Purchase Agreements or participation in the wholesale market. Most wind producers prefer the option of holding a long-term Power Purchase Agreement with another party. However, these agreements do not always offer the best terms for a wind producer due to them selling energy at lower electricity prices than those of the wholesale market spot prices. In addition, direct participation in the wholesale market can lead to high imbalance costs for the wind producers. In this paper, we propose an optimal dispatch model solved via dynamic programming optimisation to examine these two different business cases for wind operators alongside the existence (or not) of subsidised Contracts for Difference. A case study with an onshore UK wind farm and a lithium-based battery is provided. The proposed methodology was designed flexibly, so that it can be applied to different wind farm and battery configurations, as well as energy market structures. It is found that it is not always more profitable for the wind operator to hold a Power Purchase Agreement with another party than owning a battery storage unit and trading wind energy directly into the wholesale market. The discount rate of the Power Purchase Agreements, the capital cost of the wind farm and the strike price of the Contracts for Difference are critical factors affecting the profitability of both business cases. In addition, if subsidies are totally removed from both of them, then these are no longer economically justifiable, unless significant reductions are achieved in the capital costs of wind farms and battery storage units. Lastly, we show that considering only the calendar life of the battery (and not the cycle life) leads to significant underestimation of the investment costs.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 Oct 2020