Leaders in Cleantech Podcast

Arenko Group, a leading battery software services provider to the multi-billion-dollar global battery automation market, is pleased to announce that CEO, Rupert Newland has spoken on the Leaders in Cleantech Podcast with David Hunt.

The link to the podcast can be found here: https://leadersincleantech.com/rupert-newland-arenko-group.

In the podcast, Rupert discusses the evolution of Arenko, the energy transition debate including the evolution of battery energy storage and how he sees the sector evolving over the coming years.

Arenko Group sells development rights on two new 50mw projects to Gresham House

Arenko Group sells development rights on two new 50MW projects to Gresham House Devco (Gresham House).  Arenko has also signed services agreements for the optimisation of these projects.

Arenko, a leading battery software services provider to the global battery automation market, is pleased to announce that, following the sale of its 41MW Bloxwich energy storage project to Gresham House Energy Storage Fund plc (“GRID” or “the Fund”), on 3 July 2020, it has sold development rights relating to two additional 50MW energy storage projects to Gresham House. Gresham House has acquired these projects to add to GRID’s pipeline.

Arenko, using its AI driven, automated software platform will optimise and trade both batteries upon completion, which is expected by Q1 2022. Both projects will be connected directly to National Grid’s transmission system.

Arenko’s software platform is designed to maximise the availability and profitability of battery storage assets to help accelerate the transition towards a fully decarbonized power system. Arenko’s software platform currently manages 41MW of operational assets with capacity to rapidly scale up to service a growing energy storage market driven by the influx of renewable power to the energy market.

Through this transaction, Arenko is expanding its relationship with GRID, the UK’s largest owner and operator of energy storage projects (with a 20-30% market share), whilst continuing its aim to become the partner of choice for battery asset owners across the UK.

Rupert Newland, Founder and CEO of Arenko Group, said:

“We are pleased to have entered into a further service contract for these two new projects that we expect to be owned and operated by GRID, which runs the UK’s largest operational battery storage fund. We are building a business with recurring revenue streams, through long term service contracts. This contract forms part of our ambition to help multiple battery storage owners to fully optimise their asset performance by using our software. We believe our AI software platform is world-leading and we look forward to working with other battery owners as part of the global energy transition story.”

Ben Guest, Fund Manager, Gresham House Energy Storage Fund plc, added:

“We are delighted that Gresham House has acquired these project rights to add significantly to GRID’s pipeline, and that these projects will be optimised by Arenko. These would count as the Fund’s first transmission-connected projects.  We continue to believe that having access to a large, exclusive pipeline (which GRID defines strictly as shovel-ready project rights owned exclusively for the Fund) as a strategic advantage for the Fund as the market burgeons.”

Batteries can provide the missing link in the road to net-zero


The ESO uses the balancing mechanism (BM) to manage electricity demand and supply while managing a variety of issues (energy, inertia, voltage, constraints, reserve etc). Here, I will focus only on how the industry currently meets the need for reserve and explain the opportunity for doing it in a cheaper, cleaner, more flexible way.

What is reserve?

Reserve is needed to ensure that the ESO can call upon assets to increase or decrease power output to balance any unexpected changes in demand or supply. It’s an important part of securing the system and is essentially used to manage forecast error margins or unexpected outages; kind of like a substitutes bench, or insurance policy. The size of the need is complex to calculate, but according to the newly available data in the ESO data portal – the need for positive and negative reserve is typically between 1-2,000MW up and down, and can be up to 3,000MW each way.

How does it work at the moment?

Combined cycles gas turbines (CCGTs) typically incur a large start-up cost to fire up, and have to stay on for a long period of time. This large start-up cost can be spread over a longer time period in order to make the marginal cost of power competitive. The principle also applies to reserve, where the large start-up cost is still incurred, but the CCGTs are operating at a reduced power output to provide upwards and/or downwards flexibility. One catch is that to access this reserve, the CCGTs have to be ‘positioned’ and kept on for hours at a time, even if they are only needed for a short time.

When CCGTs are already on, the large start-up cost becomes less influential. Therefore, given the low additional marginal costs of providing the output, CCGTs can be a very competitive option to balance the system. However, in high renewables & low national demand situations (i.e. the summer of covid-19), CCGTs are often lower down the economic merit order and therefore not running at all.

Indeed, due to the increasing volatility of the system, it is almost impossible for the ESO to make optimal commitments by bringing CCGTs on a 4-6 hour run. Especially if the outturn is up to 3000MW away from forecast.

What if there is not enough reserve?

The answer is usually firing up CCGTs ahead of time, but this comes with consequences. Firstly, the payment for providing reserve is technically attributed to the ‘positioning energy’ which is not the bit that is necessarily needed. Secondly, if the system is already balanced, the extra ‘positioning energy’ has to ‘go’ somewhere – either by paying to reduce generation or increase demand.

This is odd when you think about it. Why pay for the part of a service you don’t need, and then pay to get rid of it again… rather than just pay for the bit you do need? Nevertheless, it has been the only option available to the ESO and is a consequence of the current market arrangement and the limitations of a technology that must be halfway ‘on’ to provide flexibility.

We have seen this situation happen with increasing frequency where, at times, the best option to secure reserve appears to be turning down low carbon nuclear and renewables and exporting power over interconnectors, sometimes at a loss to Europe, whilst bringing on CCGT assets to provide reserve. None of this is consistent with Net-Zero and clearly we need better options to be available to the ESO, particularly when better options are available today through batteries.

Why is this a problem?

All this manoeuvring ahead of time can make the BM less dynamic and reduce the inherent volatility that other technologies, like batteries, are well placed to manage.

It’s like paying to lease a second car in case your first car breaks down. The cost also includes paying for parking and leaving the engine running for a quick getaway. It technically works and provides peace of mind, but it is more expensive than just getting a Zipcar if and when you need it. I’m not even going to mention emissions.

This effectively denies batteries a fair share of the ‘balancing pie’ as it were (Zipcar wouldn’t even get a look-in if you already committed to that second car). So, we jumped at the chance to respond to the ESO’s request for new ideas about flexibility services. We wanted to show that not only could batteries technically provide this service, whilst bringing technology-specific advantages of speed and flexibility.


The principle of batteries being more commercially competitive to provide reserve is a simple one, in that they do not need to be ‘on’ to provide reserve, so inherently the costs and emissions should be lower. That is before having to account for any offset actions required to offset the ‘positioning energy’ when there is no need for this excess energy.

The more difficult practical challenge was proving that batteries could be relied upon to provide sustained reserve. If we could prove this, then batteries could be legitimately planned and paid for ahead of time. This could increase effective competition for CCGTs, and in turn, help drive down emissions and balancing costs for the end consumer.

What was the proposal?

We approached this challenge from a different perspective. Firstly, rather than thinking uniquely in energy capacity terms (if the battery is empty, it’s useless), we preferred to think in power terms. To be specific, the 41MW Bloxwich asset always has 82MW of power available, even when no power is flowing at the meter. With this new perspective came new insight.

This section illustrates, in principle, how it is possible to maintain sustained negative reserve with a 1-hour battery. I will run through negative reserve only (i.e. charging the battery), but the inverse applies for positive reserve too.

SOC: State of charge of a battery.

PN: Physical Notification; the planned charge/discharge schedule of the battery, which the ESO can change through instruction

State A:

  • SOC:0%(batteryempty)
  • PN:0MW

When the battery is at 0% SOC, a 1h battery has approximately 1h10m of negative reserve available at 41MW. If this is not utilised, the battery will continue to provide 41MW of negative reserve indefinitely without any active power on the system (unlike conventional plant that would need to be ‘positioned’). However, if it is used, the SOC will move towards State B…

State B:

  • SOC:100%(batteryfull)
  • PN:0MW

If the battery reaches 100% SOC, the battery is full, but it can still provide negative reserve by moving to state C via a ‘positioning BOA’. In practise, the aim would be to position the battery before ever reaching state B.

State C:

  • SOC100%(batteryfull)
  • PN:41MW(dischargefor1h)

From 100% SOC, with a 41MW discharge PN, the battery is discharging but can still provide negative reserve at 41MW for 1h. The net power at the meter would actually be 0MW in this case. At the end of this period, the battery will revert to State A (providing 41MW of reserve for 1h10m).

These ‘states’ demonstrate sustained negative reserve, no matter the SOC. However, in practice, the aim would be to move between these states and maintain the asset in the middle SOC range and to provide even more reserve as per State D, below.

State D (Boost):

Ahead of utilisation, ‘Positioning instructions’ can be used to effectively double our negative reserve during times of particularly high requirements (a 41MW discharge gives 82MW negative reserve). This can be over an hour, or for a short duration of a couple of minutes as the system needs it. To quote Laura Sandys – this would help us ‘manage the peak’ not simply ‘meet the peak’.

The ESO can therefore plan the requirement for positive and/or negative reserve at very specific times – significantly undercutting the overall ‘positioning costs’ of CCGTs. This shows that batteries can provide reserve that is dynamic in time, size, and direction. In some ways, this addresses a weakness of batteries (duration) and flips it into a strength.


Arenko conducted two trials with the ESO to try to prove this capability for the control room and now the ESO has decided to take it further and conduct an expanded trial with more batteries in September. We think trials and learning by doing are a great way to innovate and would like to thank all those who worked on this trial, both from the ESO and Arenko. You can read more about the second trial here

Facts & figures

Some quick highlights of what we achieved in the second trial include:

  • 1GWh physically delivered in one week
  • 100% instructions dispatched correctly
  • Autonomous nomination and denomination

Reserve from batteries was seen to be a cost-effective alternative to CCGT’s across 106h out of 160h during relatively normal market conditions, at £15/MW/h equivalent

We had a particularly exciting Monday morning where we provided 5.5 hours at full power, continuously, from a 1- hour duration asset. Perhaps we’ll blog on that too…

In summary…

Batteries have already dominated the frequency markets in just a couple of years and as an industry, we are fast approaching an inflection point. In the UK we now have the stability pathfinder, distributed black start, the new NOA and reactive power tenders emerging. This truly is an exciting time for batteries.

What we need now is a level playing field and a clear price signal to help stimulate the much-anticipated investment in batteries, really scale the industry and offer further benefits to the ESO and consumers in the future. Initially, paying for and accessing reserve from batteries will provide a much more flexible and cost effective tool for the ESO to manage this increasing volatility. This trial is helping to open up the reserve market to increased competition. This will help batteries, especially longer duration batteries, to truly compete with CCGT commitments in the mid-merit of the electricity market.

I hope the storage industry will come together, collaborate on this September trial to achieve the scale necessary to compete with CCGTs. To that end, if any asset owner or software provider wants to be involved in the September trial and needs a hand, we want to help. Please get in touch via hello@arenko.group.

National grid and Arenko announce further upward and downward reserve trials

Arenko is pleased to announce the successful completion of the initial stage of its first-of-its-kind battery reserve trial with National Grid ESO. Having announced this innovative trial in May 2020, both parties have agreed to further trials as we move towards unlocking the full potential of batteries as a source of balancing flexibility to the de-carbonised grid of the future.

Headline results:

  • National Grid ESO confirm in their statement that batteries offer a cost-effective option for upward and downward reserve
  • The trial demonstrated that the Electricity National Control Centre (“ENCC”) can effectively request the availability of sustained upward and downward reserve through existing operational arrangements
  • Further trials are planned for July and then September 2020, when a broader number of batteries will be involved

Arenko’s flexible software architecture and automation technology was able to rapidly deliver a reserve service to National Grid ESO which allowed them to use cost effective, digitalised battery technology in a market previously dominated by thermal power plants and Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (“CCGT”). This trial presents a clear path for National Grid ESO to be able to deliver a carbon free system by 2025 and to manage the substantial deployment of renewable energy expected over the coming years without having to unnecessarily switch on polluting, expensive power stations.

A link to the National Grid ESO statement can be found here: https://data.nationalgrideso.com/plans-reports-analysis/covid-19-preparedness-materials/r/trial_review_-_reserve_from_storage_in_the_bm

Arenko and National Grid ESO have agreed to two further extended trials in July and September 2020 to build on the success of this first trial as this service gathers momentum towards being a business as usual option available to ENCC.

National Grid ESO have recently published their System Operability Plans (“SOP”) indicating 1-2GW of ongoing requirement for upward and downward reserve, and this trial represents a major step forward for our software to be able to access additional revenue opportunities for batteries in an important and established market which has previously been inaccessible to batteries.

This is a clear example of how batteries can establish themselves as an integral future technology for balancing the electricity system outside of just the frequency response market.

Rupert Newland, founder and Chief Executive of Arenko said:

“We are delighted that National Grid ESO see such value in the potential and cost effectiveness of using batteries, operated by our software, to deliver upward and downward reserve. This innovative approach is a further example of Arenko creating value for our customers. We look forward to these extended trials and ultimately establishing upward and downward reserve as a core market for our battery customers to generate additional revenue from their batteries.”

National Grid ESO stated:

“National Grid ESO want to thank Arenko for their proposal and working with us on the initial trial, and all other parties who worked with us to access additional flexibility at pace this summer. We believe that short burst trials are a positive way to for the ENCC to learn at pace and support providers looking to enter the market and provide solid foundations for operating carbon free by 2025.”

Sale of 41mw Bloxwich battery storage project to Gresham House

Arenko Group, a leading battery software services provider to the multi-billion-dollar global battery automation market, is pleased to announce the sale of its 41MW Bloxwich battery asset to Gresham House Energy Storage Fund PLC (“Gresham House”), Great Britain’s largest operational battery storage fund, for a total cash consideration of £20.1 million, with further potential earnout payments.

The Bloxwich project was developed by Arenko and utilises their recognised and leading battery software and controls platform and, post-acquisition, will continue to operate and optimise Bloxwich.  The sale of the Bloxwich battery asset significantly strengthens Arenko’s balance sheet to enable the Company to fund expansion of its software and services platform as it becomes a fully digital business.

Arenko provides an AI driven, highly automated software platform that enables 24hr autonomous operations. The platform maximises the economic value of its clients’ assets by optimising trading across the UK’s physical electricity Balancing Mechanism market, European Power Exchange (“EPEX”) and other ancillary service markets.

Under Arenko ownership, Bloxwich was the first battery to be autonomously traded in the Balancing Mechanism and has significantly outperformed other batteries in that market, which stands testament to Arenko’s innovative software architecture and neural network platform. In mid-May 2020, Bloxwich was used to provide upward and downward reserve flexibility to National Grid in the UK’s first-of-its-kind trial using an energy storage system (‘ESS’). Existing upward and downward reserve services are largely provided by large Combined Cycle Gas Turbines and other thermal generation at a significant financial cost and creating significant carbon dioxide emissions. ESS are an exciting and more cost-effective source of grid flexibility and are likely to be central to the zero-carbon emissions grid of the future.

Arenko believes digitally connected, highly automated battery storage assets are an essential part of the energy transition story, helping provide instantaneous power and frequency support to the grid. The recent COVID-19 crisis has reshaped the UK power network, causing renewable power to meet up to 60% of daily demand* and highlighting the essential role that will be played by battery storage and other flexible assets in the net zero grid of the future. Arenko’s software platform is designed to maximise the availability and profitability of battery storage assets and will help accelerate the transition towards a fully decarbonized power system.

This announcement builds on the statement of 15 June 2020, when Arenko expanded its platform capabilities from the physical balancing mechanism market into the intra-day EPEX market. This new module allows battery asset owners to diversify their revenue streams and increase the ultimate return on investment of their assets without incurring incremental costs.

Arenko looks forward to expanding its long-term service relationship with Gresham House and aims to become the partner of choice for battery asset owners across the UK.

Rupert Newland, Founder and CEO of Arenko Group, said:

“This is a transformational deal for Arenko as it marks our transition from an asset owner to a software service provider. Our ambition is to help multiple battery storage owners to fully optimise their asset performance by using our software. We see batteries and other flexible assets playing a meaningful role in the energy transition and believe intelligent AI software platforms will be a crucial enabler to unlock value from batteries globally. We look forward to working with Gresham House and other battery asset owners to help them maximise the value of their assets in the future.”

Ben Guest, Fund Manager, Gresham House Energy Storage Fund PLC

“We are delighted to have completed this acquisition. Arenko is one of only a handful of innovative and technically-capable operators and optimisers of energy storage systems in the market, as demonstrated by their recent announcements. We look forward to working with them as the market burgeons in Great Britain.”

Arenko launch autonomous European power exchange trading module

Arenko Group, a leading battery software services provider to the multi-billion-dollar global battery automation market, is pleased to announce the launch of its European Power Exchange (“EPEX”) trading module. This marks the expansion of its platform capabilities from the physical balancing mechanism market, frequency response and other ancillary services to include the intraday EPEX power trading market.

Arenko’s platform is understood to be the first to provide full autonomous optimisation of a battery’s positioning, seamlessly stacking EPEX and Balancing Mechanism revenue sources to incrementally improve the trading performance from the asset. This new revenue stream adds a significant additional source of cashflows for battery owners in the UK and is the first of several additional services modules that Arenko plans to deploy over the coming year.

With Arenko’s platform being a fully autonomous system, it allows battery asset owners to diversify their revenue streams and increase the ultimate return on investment of their assets without incurring incremental costs whilst operating on a 24/7 basis.

Following a highly successful soft launch on Arenko’s 41MW grid scale battery asset in April 2020, this new module has proven a material value uplift for the battery system and confirmed Arenko’s expectations about deploying the battery’s capacity across multiple markets at the same time, using its sophisticated automation technology. Arenko now intends to roll out this software module and unlock additional value from concurrently delivering these markets for its current and new battery customers.

Over the last 12 months, assets operating through Arenko’s platform have made over double the return of the nearest competitor batteries on a like for like basis in the balancing mechanism as well as delivering frequency response and other ancillary services. Today we announce that we have added intraday EPEX to our fully automated services. This top tier performance is being expanded into more markets for our customers, increasing revenue flexibility and performance for flexibile assets. All of which is enabled by the innovative software architecture and AI that Arenko has developed.

Rupert Newland, Founder and CEO of Arenko Group, said:

“We are pleased to have launched this service, which is the first of several additional services modules that Arenko plans to deploy over the coming year. We will continue to innovate to help battery asset owners maximise their performance and increase their return on investment.”

Arenko support National Grid trial

Arenko Group, a leading battery software services provider to the multi-billion dollar global battery automation market, is pleased to be supporting National Grid by exclusively trialing a new upward and downward reserve flexibility from its 41MW Bloxwich battery asset in a first of its kind trial for batteries.

A link to the National Grid statement can be found here: https://bit.ly/2yXayvv.

Working closely with National Grid, Arenko designed a new software module to complement its existing platform offering to seamlessly adjust Bloxwich’s instruction algorithms to focus on delivering these additional flexibility services when they are needed most.

This innovative service is the first time a battery has been able to augment existing upward and downward reserve services provided to the UK grid from traditional thermal power plants and was made possible by Arenko’s flexible and fully autonomous software platform.

This current period of low demand on the UK grid has offered a window into the UK’s future energy system, where renewable energy will play an increasingly important role in the energy mix, but will also bring new challenges to the way the system is managed. Arenko’s automation software unlocks the potential for batteries to play a leading role in balancing the system and helping National Grid to deliver against its zero carbon target by 2025.

This trial represents a significant step forward for batteries and a further potential commercial opportunity for Arenko’s battery clients to use its software platform to provide this important service to the UK electricity grid. Using batteries controlled by Arenko’s proprietary software, National Grid are not only innovating by using Arenko’s cutting edge automation technology but should also expect to provide greater value for money for the consumers versus traditional generators and balancing techniques.

Arenko are delighted to take part in this trial and, if successfully developed into a business as usual product for National Grid, intend to rapidly scale up the provision of this important balancing service with new customers as it rolls out its proven, industry leading battery automation software.

Rupert Newland, Founder and CEO of Arenko Group, said: 

“This is further evidence of the capabilities of our proprietary automation software to deliver flexible, cost effective, carbon free balancing services to National Grid as well as being a superb opportunity for our new and existing battery owners to access new, additional revenue streams from their batteries.”

Andy Hadland, Chief Product Officer of Arenko Group, said:

“Batteries have a crucial role to help meet the ESO’s Net Zero operability ambition by 2025. We hope to open up new ways for batteries to provide services and competition to the ESO versus current methods using thermal power plants. This should ultimately reduce the cost of balancing the system and provide better value to the end customer.”

Arenko guest article: the covid-19 crisis offers insights into a more sustainable future

We are pleased to have produced an article in cooperation with Ashurst discussing how the recent COVID-19 crisis can actually offer us insights into a more sustainable future in which battery storage plays an integral part in enabling a high renewable energy generation mix. We believe AI software controlled battery storage assets and other dynamically priced smart energy systems like smart EV Charging will enable high renewable energy penetration rates and an accelerated energy transition.

Foreword from Antony Skinner, Global Co-Head of Power & Utilities (EMEA & US):

In a pre-COVID-19 world, the energy transition was at the forefront of the minds and policies of governments, corporates, developers and investors. For the last two months, everyone has been focused on COVID-19 and how to overcome its challenges and mitigate its impact. James Mills, Board Member at Ashurst battery storage client Arenko Group, discusses in this article whether COVID-19 has demonstrated how renewable energy and battery storage can generate a significant proportion of energy supply and could help pave the way to a more sustainable future.

Foreword from Nick Elverston, Global Co-Head of Digital Economy Transactions:

Social distancing and lockdowns have shown us the importance of digital technology and the need to keep it powered. Our clients Arenko are an exciting business, leading the way in the digital transformation from an asset based to a software and platform based business whilst demonstrating how intelligent technology will play a key role in the renewables revolution. We established our Digital Economy team precisely to assist with those transitions.

Without diminishing the obvious human and economic cost of the COVID-19 crisis, the unprecedented global pandemic also offers a unique opportunity to imagine a more sustainable future. It provides ‘insights’ into sustainability in the broadest sense of the word, across a variety of economic and social spheres. This includes a reappraisal of supply chain robustness, addressing the resilience of excessively leveraged balance sheets and a discussion around the true value of essential workers, after a decade of stagnant wage growth. A broader theme is also the shift in global government policies towards fiscal stimulus as a response to the crisis, which invites an examination of a more sustainable approach towards infrastructure and energy transition spending.

From the perspective of Arenko Group, who provides a market leading software platform for battery storage assets, the crisis offers specific insights into how we can implement and accelerate a more sustainable energy transition in the coming years. Specifically, two central elements of the energy transition are worth examining in this context: the increased penetration of renewable energy generation and the electrification of the transport sector.

Most strikingly, the UK and to a broader extent Europe and the US, have experienced a test at national scale of the ability to cope with higher levels of renewable energy penetration. An immediate impact of the crisis was a significant decline in electricity demand, linked to a dramatic economic contraction. Arenko and market observers estimate this reduced UK power demand by up to 15% in the immediate aftermath of the March lockdown1. Similar levels of demand destruction occurred across Europe and in specific US power markets such as NYISO and CAISO and intensified through April, albeit with the timing of Easter complicating annual comparisons2. In the context of strong wind and solar production, this demand destruction caused renewables to increase their share of overall power generation.

Renewables had already generated a record 36.9% of the UK’s electricity throughout 20193, but the crisis created conditions in which renewable output peaked at a new record penetration rate of 70% on Sunday 5th April. This stress test of the UK’s capacity to cope with high renewable penetration rates suggests that National Grid is well positioned to meet its commitment to run the grid on a 100% net zero carbon basis by 2025. With the UK government committed to quadrupling offshore wind to 40 GW of capacity by 2030, in a market that has recently seen off-peak demand fall to 20GW, the outlook for a more environmentally sustainable and ultimately zero carbon generation mix looks increasingly positive.

Two other sustainable generation insights created by the crisis are; increasingly frequent negative short term power prices and a dramatic decline in daily average prices. Since the end of 2019, a couple of negative power price events have occurred in the UK’s physical half hourly balancing market, but the frequency of these events rapidly increased after the lock down. Multiple repeated negative price settlements were experienced, as the system coped with higher levels of intermittent renewable energy and significant changes in demand patterns. This impact was also felt in the day ahead futures markets, which recorded highly unusual negative pricing. These negative prices highlight the difficulties higher renewable penetration can create when stabilising an electricity grid. However, they also signal the role that dynamic pricing will play in incentivising battery storage, demand side management and most importantly, intelligent EV charging. At Arenko, our fully autonomous software platform was able to provide flexibility and rapid charge and discharge instructions during the crisis, to help reduce price volatility and enable higher rates of renewable power generation. This price volatility signals the future revenue potential for battery storage assets and shows EV owners a sustainable, renewable energy future should offer low or even negative priced charging opportunities.

Concerning the broader issue of falling average power prices, the 30% decline in the UK March settled price from a year ago to unusually low levels of £29MWh, was mainly driven by demand destruction4. However, it also highlighted a clear long-term trend across global electricity markets, where rising renewable penetration rates have driven down wholesale power prices, due to the collapsing capital costs and zero marginal costs of renewable power. In particular, utility scale solar and wind generation costs now significantly undercut gas power generation and dominated 72% of global power installations in 20195. The crisis thus demonstrates that high renewable energy penetration rates are technically possible and will require dynamically priced demand management and storage solutions. In return, renewable energy will offer consumers structurally lower prices and opportunities to benefit from smart intra-day pricing strategies, whether in residential and industrial heating markets or the transport sector.

It is not only low electricity costs that will drive the electrification of the transport sector, but also the drive to reduce air pollution, especially in urban centres. It is here that the crisis offers a more intangible, if no less powerful insight into a more sustainable future. A key problem with shifting to an electrified transport system is that the current system’s true costs, or environmental externalities, are hidden from consumers, especially the impact of particulate and NOx air pollution. For most people, the physical health costs of air pollution caused by road and airline transportation only emerge gradually over time, but are still often deadly in their ultimate impact. Yet at the same time, this economic health cost is not directly borne by the consumers of polluting road and jet fuel.

Already there is clear evidence of the significant improvements in air quality caused by the crisis, whether the sudden emergence of forgotten Himalayan views in Northern India and the 44% declines in particulate pollution in Delhi, or the reductions in NOx emissions across Northern Italy6. Perhaps the most comprehensive data so far has come from San Francisco, where according to local pollution consultants Aclima, an early lockdown produced extraordinary declines of approximately 40% in NOx and black carbon, 30% in fine particulate emissions and 25%-40% decreases in localised CO2 enhancements7. With the global population expected to reach 10bn by 2050, of whom 70% will be living in cities, this crisis has offered us a chance to temporarily experience for ourselves the direct pollution reduction benefits of a switch to a sustainable, fully electrified transport system. This does not diminish the challenges of deploying widespread charging infrastructure or preventing transport electrification from creating unjust affordability issues across society. However, the crisis allows us to step back from our existing hectic levels of urban living and clearly experience the pollution and health benefits of an electrified Energy Transition.

The final element of the crisis worth examining is whether it will accelerate sustainable infrastructure investments by governments and individuals, as fiscal stimulus strategies become more accepted politically. Prior to the crisis, policy makers across the EU and the US had started promoting ‘Green New Deal’ spending policies8. With their classical Keynesian deficit spending mentality, these policies ran counter to recent orthodox thinking around budget deficits and austerity economics. However, the crisis has transformed the discussion overnight, with an almost universal acceptance that monetary policy can no longer provide a sufficient stimulus response to the crisis and that massive fiscal stimulus is required. In this context, it seems likely governments will direct much of this fiscal stimulus towards more sustainable infrastructure spending and industry support packages, especially those that create more robust and self-sustaining energy systems.

To a lesser degree this focus on robust and sustainable energy systems may also accelerate at the consumer level. The leading residential solar market of California had already seen a dramatic acceleration in residential battery system installations prior to the crisis. Primarily due to growing wildfire related blackouts, 40% of all new solar systems had residential batteries specified and analysts expected 2020 to show a 400% increase in battery installations9. With the crisis accentuating a focus on home working and domestic power resilience, it is likely consumers will accelerate further their domestic renewable generation and storage capabilities and take greater control over the sustainability of their own energy consumption.

In summary, the COVID-19 crisis has given us an insight into how we can transition to a more sustainable, low carbon future and is likely to accelerate the significant investment needed to decarbonise our economy. This will result in high renewable energy penetration rates feeding a less polluting and electrified heating and transport system, and hopefully occur in the context of a broader re-appraisal of how we create a more sustainable future.

Author: James Mills, Board Member, Arenko Group

Full Link: https://www.ashurst.com/en/news-and-insights/insights/arenko-guest-article—the-covid-19-crisis-offers-insights-into-a-more-sustainable-future/

Covid-19: a message from Rupert Newland, Chief Executive Officer

Throughout the COVID-19 situation, our commitment has been to follow all Government advice and to put the safety and wellbeing of our team and our customers first and foremost. We believe this is what a responsible business should do and are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that this is the case and to support our people to Stay at Home.

Continuity of services provided by Arenko 

Since the 13 March, the Arenko team has been working remotely, apart from essential preventative maintenance on our battery storage asset near Birmingham. Over this period of remotely working Arenko’s fully automated AI software platform has continued to provide important sub-second response flexibility to the electricity market, helping to manage the shift in demand patterns and facilitate the consumption and management of renewable energy across the system in real time.

We are pleased that our software has demonstrated resilience and has proven its automate capabilities even in the highly challenging stress tests environments which we are currently experiencing. Robust, automated software is the global future to allow flexible energy assets to continue operating under even the most difficult conditions.

With COVID-19 changing power demand patterns due to the enforced shutdown of some industries and increased remote working, the past fortnight has seen Arenko’s AI controlled flexible battery storage asset frequently used as an important balancing resource by National Grid’s control room.

We will continue to follow Government advice and respond to this evolving situation. Our software has proven its resilience and we will continue to do the right thing for our customers and our employees as the COVID-19 situation develops.

Rupert Newland

Chief Executive Officer

Battery completes first full year of operation – outperforms closest peer by 65%

Arenko Group, a leading battery software services provider to the multi-billion-dollar battery automation market, is pleased to announce that its 41MW/MWh battery located in Birmingham, UK, has completed its first year of operation.


  • Battery outperformed closest peer by 65% in the balancing mechanism
  • 15GWh export and 19GWh import in the year from 23rd January 2019.

The battery, which Arenko believes is the largest single-room battery in the world, has demonstrated Arenko’s modular software platform. The battery is a fully merchant battery system optimised across multiple traded and ancillary service markets.

The software platform joined with the battery is the only fully automated system balancing the UK grid.

Rupert Newland, Founder and CEO, said:

“We are delighted to have completed our first full year of operation. The battery has proven that our software platform delivers a market leading performance in its role to fully automate the balancing of the grid. In 2019, the system outperformed the nearest comparable software by 65%. We believe it will enable clients to boost investment returns by maximising revenues and minimising costs.”

Arenko quoted in National Grid Business plan

Arenko Group, a leading battery software services provider to the multi-billion-dollar battery automation market, is pleased to announce that its Chief Product Officer, Andy Hadland was quoted in National Grid’s business plan for 2021-23.

Andy, who leads Arenko’s vision and strategy for the Company’s software products, said: “National Grid ESO’s processes and systems were designed for human-speed, but these both need to mature to match the speed of new energy technologies”.

In the paper, National Grid sets out why energy technology is the key to their ambitions and is embedded within their organisational strategy. National Grid plan to advance their use and integration of technologies to enable the running of a carbon free network. As part of this, they plan to support access for an even wider range of generation, demand and service providers such as Arenko.

Rupert Newland, CEO and Founder of Arenko, said:

“It is good to see National Grid reference Arenko in their upcoming business plan. We believe our software could be transformational for the efficiency of the UK grid and other grids worldwide.”

Arenko response to National Grid power outages in august 2019

On 9th August 2019, large parts of England and Wales suffered power cuts after a major network failure affecting around 1m people and causing widespread disruption to trains and roads across the UK. The issue was caused by the loss of two generators, one gas and one offshore wind, that connect to the GB transmission system, which led to a fall in the frequency of the electricity system.

Following the event, the National Grid noted that “other generators on the network responded to the loss by increasing their output as expected. However due to the scale of the generation losses this was not sufficient, and to protect the network and ensure restoration to normal operation could be completed as quickly as possible, a backup protection system was triggered which disconnects selected demand across GB.” 1

During the blackouts, Arenko Group, a leading battery software services provider to the multi-billion-dollar battery automation market, was able to assist by supplying power from its batteries to help balance the Grid. Arenko’s software has a zero minute notice to deliver power, and was therefore one of the first balancing mechanism assets instructed to help. Arenko was issued an instruction at 16:53 to begin discharging 41MW at 16:54 for 6 minutes to help balance the demand for electricity and generate power to flow back into the grid system. Arenko was later issued a 41MW charge instruction at 16:06 to help offset later oncoming generation.

Rupert Newland, Founder and CEO, said:

“We are pleased that our battery software services were able to assist in rapidly supplying power back to the National Grid during the blackouts and help balance the electricity demand that was unable to be met due to the loss of the gas and the offshore wind generators that connect to the transmission system in the UK.

“The rise of renewables on the grid are great for the consumer because they drive down the cost of electricity and they are more sustainable. However, they are much more volatile than fossil fuels as the power they generate is reliant on weather conditions out of our control. If we get better at managing the renewable energy we create, in real time using batteries and battery systems like the one we provide, we will be able to limit the number and impact of these blackouts by ensuring that there is sufficient power on the grid.”


For a visual of the sequence of event of Friday 9th August, please visit the National Grid site below: https://www.nationalgrideso.com/document/151061/download

1 – https://www.nationalgrideso.com/power-cut-9-august-eso-statement

Appointment of board observer and advisor to the Chief Executive

Arenko Group, a leading battery software services provider to the multi-billion-dollar battery automation market, is pleased to announce the appointment of James Mills, as a Board Observer and Advisor to the Chief Executive of Arenko.

James is an experienced energy investor and Board Member with a history of working in the asset management industry. After working at Mercury Asset Management and Tudor Capital for c.15 years, from 2013-2018, James was a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of SICP, a family office backed specialist energy investment firm focused on private equity opportunities. He is now a Director of private investments and business development at Arosa Capital, a U.S. specialist energy fund.

Quote from Rupert Newland, Chief Executive:

“I am delighted to welcomes James to the Board of Arenko as an independent observer and advisor. James’ experience of investing in companies over two decades and his focus on governance will in invaluable to us in the years ahead.”

Launch of Arenko battery

 Arenko Group, a leading battery software services provider to the multi-billion-dollar battery automation market, is pleased to announce the launch of its 41MW/MWh battery located in Birmingham, UK.

The battery, which Arenko believes is the largest single-room battery in the world, will be used to demonstrate Arenko’s modular software platform. The battery is a fully merchant battery system optimised across multiple traded and ancillary service markets.

The software platform joined with the battery is the only fully automated system balancing the UK grid.

Rupert Newland, Founder and CEO, said:

“We are delighted to have launched our battery and are excited to demonstrate how our platform can optimise our client’s performance. We believe that our software platform can boost investment returns by maximising revenues and minimising costs. It provides clear insight driven by high definition data to help clients inform decision making and improve performance.”

Arenko and GE to build one of the World’s largest energy storage facilities in the UK

  • Arenko has selected GE to deliver a 41MW battery energy storage system capable of responding quicker and more effectively than traditional energy technologies to meet real time demand of consumers

  • The new energy storage system will supply on demand power to approximately 100,000 UK homes and contribute to reducing energy bills for UK households and businesses

  • This critical energy infrastructure will provide improved energy efficiency to the local community and the UK grid as a whole

  • The system will help manage increasing renewable energy production and meet consumers’ changing energy demands as well as help create a more secure energy network into the future

London, UK – February 5, 2018: GE (NYSE: GE) and Arenko Group (Arenko) are delighted to announce a strategic alliance to build grid scale energy storage systems in the UK.

The companies will seek to leverage the advantages of combining GE’s battery technology solution, power electronics and advanced controls with Arenko’s leadership in operating batteries in the UK market and proprietary energy trading software platform.

Arenko has invested in a 41MW battery energy storage system supplied by GE, who is providing a fully integrated battery storage solution. The project is one of the largest in the UK and globally with the ability to provide affordable, on-demand power to the equivalent of approximately 100,000 UK homes.

This battery storage system is sited at a key strategic location in the Midlands and will commence operations in 2018. Once operational it will integrate GE and Arenko’s advanced control technologies and will be commercially operated though Arenko’s software to digitally deploy energy and access multiple services and system needs. The battery system’s reliability and performance will be underpinned and protected by GE’s long-term support.

The project will relieve pressure on the UK energy system and provide flexibility at times when it is most needed to deliver a more balanced, secure energy system and contribute to reducing the cost of energy to the UK consumer. The focus is on building long term commercial sustainable battery storage systems, which are not reliant on subsidies and incentives.

Changing consumer demands, increasing adoption of renewable energy and security of supply are driving the need for innovative energy networks to deliver a more efficient power system. As traditional centralised generation comes under increasing pressure, energy storage projects such as those announced by Arenko and GE today, will be crucial to maximise generation capacity, ensure efficient energy utilisation and improve the operational efficiency of the grid.

Mirko Molinari, Global Commercial & Marketing Executive, Energy Storage at GE Power commented:

“Energy storage will help balance supply and demand close to real time, avoiding frequency drifts and supporting the mid-term response to grid imbalances. The flexibility it offers smooths the fluctuating nature of renewable energy, provides quick reserves when needed, stores excess energy generation and much more. Energy storage will enable a more efficient system for a more reliable supply of electricity to consumers.

“Arenko are pioneers in the commercialisation of energy storage systems: this collaboration cements two years of working together towards the shared vision of creating a battery storage solution which addresses the ever-changing needs of a modern energy system.”

Rupert Newland, Chief Executive, Arenko Group commented:

Arenko’s new battery system will provide much needed flexibility to the UK grid, reducing waste and helping to make energy bills cheaper for households and businesses. This project is very significant in addressing the UK’s long-term energy security concerns, enabling the transition to a low carbon energy future.

“As a leading owner and operator of grid scale battery systems in the UK, we are delighted to have established this strategic alliance with GE to deliver large scale battery energy storage projects. We share the same focus and commitment to the sector and we have been very impressed by GE’s world class technology and project delivery of energy storage systems across the globe.

“This is a demonstration of Arenko’s strategy to partner with top tier corporates to make a major, positive and sustainable impact on the energy sector. We are focussed on addressing this complex but exciting commercial opportunity and helping to build the future of the UK’s energy system.”

GE has invested in Grid Scale Battery Storage technology since 2010. Arenko was established in 2014 to provide large scale energy storage solutions and selected GE, who has a strong reputation of reliability from a repeatable and well referenced design. This first project with Arenko will be GE’s 19th and largest grid scale commercial Battery Energy Storage Solution worldwide.

Arenko helps manage 950mw clap for carers pickup

We are pleased to announce our battery software system supported National Grid following the 950MW surge of power usage on the UK grid just after 8pm “Clap for Key Workers” on the 23 April 2020, when people returned to their evening activities following the clap. Through its automated platform, Arenko delivered nearly 10% of this surge in demand to National Grid.

In the run up to this event, Arenko held a full charge profile to help National Grid maintain the frequency in the system before immediately flipping to a full discharge profile and delivering a net 82MW of power to respond directly to this spike in demand.

Rupert Newland, Founder and CEO, said:

“We were pleased our automated battery software system was able to be used to its full capacity to support National Grid following the Clap for Key Workers. We expect this trend to continue in the coming weeks and we will continue to support National Grid in supplying power for homes in the UK.

“This further highlights the ability of our proprietary automation technology to rapidly automatically respond to market conditions even in the most unusual of stress test environments.” https://lnkd.in/g3MzmVT