A light bulb moment | Warehouse & Logistics News

The warehousing and logistics sector is the perfect place for renewable energy and clean energy solutions, according to Matthew Lumsden, CEO of Connected Energy.

There are five reasons for this and key to them all is having a battery energy storage system (BESS), something which has only recently become a widely available option as technology has developed and prices have dropped. A BESS is typically a shipping container with packs of electric batteries inside, connected up to a management system.

Instead of charging a car, they are used to manage a premise's electricity supply. Why is this especially appropriate for the warehouse and logistics industry? Warehouse roof tops are vast

They are also usually less encumbered with roof furniture than office blocks or factories, making them especially suitable for solar photo voltaic panels (PV) which are lighter and cheaper than ever, meaning warehouses can carry vast fields of them on their roof tops. Energy created can be stored in a BESS and then used as needed, turning PV into a reliable 24/7 energy source. Warehouses are often on large, out of town sites

Location can be a blessing or a curse but either way a BESS can help. Large, out of town sites often have the space to take a shipping container sized unit, making it easy to accommodate a BESS. On the other hand, the location may have grid constraints.

Space to solve grid constraints If a site has grid constraints, where it is too expensive to add the cabling or transformer required to bring in more energy or sell clean energy back to the grid, a BESS can help. Energy created on site can be stored in a BESS and then released as needed.

This avoids costly peak energy charges ('grid shaving'), or it can be sold back to the grid to create an income stream. Cranfield University is doing this, with three BESS on its Bedfordshire site. Proof of carbon reduction and cost monitoring

The BESS battery management system provides data about energy creation, capture and consumption down to the minute, if wanted. This information gives concrete proof of reducing carbon emissions, plus the tools to identify ways to reduce energy consumption and as importantly, costs. Driving the circular economy

The real 'no brainer', Matthew says, is that BESS from Connected Energy are made from second life EV batteries, typically 24 second-life Renault Kangoos. The BESS technology uses EV batteries exactly as they are in the car but in a storage system. This means all the safety and R&D invested in the batteries remains intact as the batteries start their second life.

A popular option is to install BESS to manage the energy at EV charging points, something organisations such as Dundee Council and Allego have adopted. This shows the warehouse and logistics sector literally driving the circular economy, something stakeholders will greatly appreciate. The burning question

The government super tax deduction announced in March 2021 can help with costs.

Until 31st March 2023 companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets will be able to claim a 130 per cent super-deduction capital allowance and 50 per cent first-year allowance (FYA) for qualifying special rate assets.

Of course the burning question may not be 'can we afford it?', but with climate change, 'can we afford not to?' For the warehouse and logistics sector it is hopefully a relatively easy decision to make.