The Leaderboard is an incredibly powerful tool for enabling impactful and effective communication around how much money battery energy storage is making - transforming how teams are making decisions about the future of their assets.
However, to enable the best conversations there are some key points that are always worth taking into consideration. We've done our best to summarise what you need to be thinking about when using the Leaderboard.
But before you get stuck in, if you ever want to jump on a call to chat things through then we're always happy to talk:
The purpose of the Leaderboard
The Leaderboard is an entirely independent indication of asset performance. Our aim is to enable teams at owners, operators, developers, funders of battery energy storage to get the best possible, impartially informed, understanding of how assets are being commercialised.
But it is an indication. All the data we use is taken from public data providers and we don't rely on any data from market participants (e.g. owners or operators). So there will always be a level of uncertainty around the final numbers. But this approach enables a fully consistent approach to benchmarking performance - every asset, owner, and operator gets exactly the same treatment.
The Leaderboard is an indication of market performance. However, this only part of the value of an asset to its owner and operator.
For example, the financial structuring behind projects has the potential to have a significant impact on what defines success. For some assets, a lower short-term return for the sake of maintaining the long-term health of the asset may be much preferable. These different incentives flow throughout the project lifecycle, and so operators may be instructed to operate with a higher level of caution and to look for "safe monetisation".
Every asset is different. Even if they've been built with the same cells in the same GSP but a year apart.
We will continue to work on normalising as many characteristics of assets as possible, but elements that can impact performance include the asset's:
size - e.g. larger assets may be more likely to be dispatched in the Balancing Mechanism.
duration - e.g. longer duration assets may be able to more easily participate in services like Dynamic Regulation (you can toggle between comparing £/MW and £/MWh in the Leaderboard).
age - e.g. cell degradation impacting the volumes that can be bid into markets.
build quality - e.g. limitations on full-depth of discharge due to overheating.
availability (up-time) - when assets aren't operational it can be quite difficult to make any money.
connection location - e.g. the costs associated with Use of System charges may drive different operational behaviour.
connection voltage - again relating to Use of System charges.
grid connection agreement - e.g. limitations introduced through Active Network Management, or asymmetric import and export limitations.
There are elements of asset performance that we currently don't have full visibility of. Where possible we support our users through narratives and content in Phase, and our Enterprise customers have regular calls with our benchmarking team.
We also believe that as markets become more transparent, the number of items and impact of this items will decrease:
The revenues included in the Leaderboard are "contracted" revenues. That is, they are the revenues realised from delivering a contracted service or exchange of power.
However, it is very possible for assets to fail to deliver.
This failure comes with an associated penalty.
Currently there is limited visibility of actual performance against contracted services, and so this data is not input into our benchmarking calculations.
Wholesale pricing opportunities
For Balancing Mechanism Units (BMUs) it is possible to see the volumes that assets are committed to delivering in the Balancing Mechanism, and on power exchanges (like those hosted by Nord Pool and EPEX). The Balancing Mechanism is transparent in its pricing; however, the power exchanges are not.
We use an estimation for the value of trades on the power exchanges based on anonymous order books and reference prices. This provides an indication of the potential value for the volumes traded, but the real values could be higher or lower.
There are almost endless possibilities for trading electricity ahead of of the point in time where you actually deliver it into the system. This brings up the opportunity to make money before the physical asset even gets involved.
We've published a series of articles on Phase looking at non-physical trading that we'd recommend reading.
But for now, we don't include any indication of the potential value from these trades in the Leaderboard.