The Energy Storage Report 2024

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Habitat Energy to optimise 730MW ERCOT battery storage portfolio for UBS


Optimiser Habitat Energy has secured a deal with UBS Asset Management to manage the energy market activity of four BESS projects totalling 730MW in ERCOT, Texas.

The firm will optimise the charge and discharge of four battery energy storage system (BESS) projects for UBS Asset Management’s Real Estate & Private Markets, all of which will come online between August and December 2024.

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It makes Habitat Energy one of the largest BESS optimisers in the ERCOT market, with 1GW contracted, bringing its total global portfolio to 2GW.

ERCOT is a primarily merchant market where BESS projects derive the bulk of revenues from a large ancillary services market with some wholesale energy trading.

As has written extensively, prices in the ancillary service market are set to come down and that ‘market saturation’ is already happening in some hours of the day.

However, the penetration of third-party optimisation in the ERCOT BESS market is still relatively low compared to the UK, the other major merchant market for energy storage.

This is partially because an ancillary service-only strategy has been relatively lucrative to date and some market participants already have in-house trading expertise, including from the gas power plant space.

Optimisers say the need for third-party optimisation will increase as BESS projects move towards more energy trading.

Michael Kirschner, managing director of Habitat Energy USA (pictured above), commented: “The choice of optimiser is important, with top-performing batteries in ERCOT earning more than double the revenue of their peers. Habitat brings a new and innovative optimisation approach to the ERCOT market and we see this agreement with UBS as recognition of that.”

UBS Asset Management is launching the four BESS projects under a joint venture with investor Captona, announced earlier this week and covered by yesterday.

Habitat Energy is part of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners and is active in the UK, Australia and US. Co-founder and director Ben Irons talked to about the challenges facing optimisation firms like it in an interview last year (Premium access).’ publisher Solar Media will host the 1st Energy Storage Summit Australia, on 21-22 May 2024 in Sydney, NSW. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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