Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) Site Requirements You Need To Consider
The future of energy storage is bright. Battery energy storage systems (BESS) are becoming increasingly popular as a way to store renewable energy, provide backup power, and manage grid demand. But before you can install a BESS, you need to find a suitable location or site.
A number of site requirements should be considered when planning a BESS project. Not just environmental factors, like land use, access, impact, and cost, but also a site’s proximity to the grid and its overall topography.
With the global market for battery energy storage systems now expected to reach $34.1 billion by 2030, companies are exploring new opportunities for flow batteries in the clean energy space. They’re also looking at the need for grid stability and the falling costs of batteries as potential reasons to use battery energy storage systems.
In this article, we’ll cover the most important considerations and requirements to keep in mind when selecting a BESS site, including:
Land use: The site must be large enough to accommodate the BESS equipment and associated infrastructure, such as access roads, electrical lines, and cooling towers. The site should also be located in an area that is zoned for industrial or commercial use.
Access: The site must be easily accessible for construction and maintenance crews. It should be located near a major transportation corridor to facilitate the delivery of materials and equipment.
Environmental impact: The site must be located in an area that is not sensitive to environmental impacts, such as wetlands or endangered species habitats. The site should also be located in an area that is not prone to flooding or other natural disasters.
Cost: The cost of a site will vary depending on the size of the BESS and the location of the site. The cost of the site should be factored into the overall cost of the BESS project.
Key Considerations for BESS Site Selection
The first step in selecting a site for a BESS project is to determine the size of the system. The size of the system will depend on the amount of energy that needs to be stored. For example, a system that stores enough energy to power a 1,500 square foot home for one day will be much smaller than a system that stores enough energy to power a city for one day.
Once the size of the system has been determined, the next step is to select the type of battery. There are a number of different types of batteries available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common types of batteries used in BESS projects include:
● Lithium-ion batteries
● Lead-acid batteries
● Sodium-sulfur batteries
The type of battery that’s selected will depend on a number of factors, including the cost of the battery, the lifespan of the battery, and the environmental impact of the battery.
Finally, we’ve arrived at selecting the location of the site. The location of the site for a battery energy storage system should depend on the availability of land, the proximity to transmission lines, and the environmental impact of the site. The land for a BESS project must be large enough to accommodate the system and any associated equipment. The land must also be easily accessible for construction and maintenance vehicles.
BESS can have an impact on the environment, so it’s important to select a site that does not currently contain active wildlife habitats. Engineering firms like KMB will also consider the impact on air quality and water quality before issuing guidance on the selection of any particular site.
The Non-Negotiables: Requirements to Consider During Site Selection
Certain BESS site requirements are non-negotiable, while others can be worked around under the guidance of an experienced engineering consultant, like KMB. For example, if a site is not large enough to accommodate a BESS system and its associated equipment, then that’s a non-negotiable.
Other non-negotiable considerations for site selection include:
● Accessibility: A site must be accessible for construction and maintenance vehicles.
● Soil conditions: The soil at a site must be able to support the weight of the BESS and the associated equipment. Soil should also be free of contaminants that could damage the system.
● Environmental factors: Site must be located in areas that are not subject to extreme weather conditions, such as flooding, high winds, or earthquakes.
● Zoning: The site must be zoned for industrial or commercial use, and it must comply with all applicable zoning and permitting requirements.
On the other hand, some issues can be worked around with the help of an engineering consultant.
Considerations that would fall into this category include:
● Site shape: The shape of a site should be considered, since it will affect the layout of the BESS system and the cost of construction.
● Topography: A site should be level or have a gentle slope. This will minimize the cost of grading and construction.
● Visual impact: BESS can be visually intrusive, so it’s important that they are located in an area where they will have minimal impact on the surrounding landscape.
● Cost: The cost of a site will vary depending on the size and location.
What Comes After Site Selection?
Once a site has been selected, the next step is to design the BESS. This includes determining the size and type of batteries, the inverters, and the control system. The system must be designed to meet the specific needs of the project, such as the amount of energy to be stored and the duration of the storage.
Expert Advice for BESS Site Selection
BESS can be controversial, and there may be community opposition to the construction of a BESS in a particular location. This is one of the reasons why developers often work in tandem with engineering firms like KMB. Engineering consultants can provide guidance and expertise in how to navigate the site selection process, making sure to address all community concerns along the way.
Because BESS require a significant amount of land, it’s also important to select a site that is not already being used for another purpose. This can be a challenge in areas where land is scarce.
Working with an engineering firm that takes major site requirements into consideration during the project planning phase can help developers minimize the risk of unexpected problems and ensure that BESS projects are successful and on budget.
BESS are a critical part of the clean energy future in the U.S. and abroad. Selecting the right location for a battery energy storage system is a critical decision that can have a significant impact on the success of a project. By considering all of the factors listed above, you can choose a site that is ideal for your BESS and help to ensure its long-term viability.
KMB Design Group is a full-service engineering solutions provider and a leading consulting firm in the energy services sector. For assistance and guidance on how to get your BESS project off the ground, contact us directly at 855-755-6234