Dr. Kai-Philipp Kairies working in a meetingDr. Kai-Philipp Kairies working in a meeting

This paper will explain:


Oliver Frankland (00:00:18):

Welcome to the fourth online session of the ElectricityStorage Network annual conference. My name is Oliver Frankland and I'm theElectricity Storage Network lead and I am going to be chairing this session.For those that haven't engaged so far - I hope many of you have ... this is apart of a whole series of online sessions that have happened over the lastcouple of days, and we also had the in-person conference at the IET onembankment in London and a couple of our panel members were there. They wereaware of what went down but it's just to introduced that very quickly. It was areally good opportunity to kind of bring together the industry, see somemembers face to face and I think it's fair to say with really good buzz in theroom, lots of excellent topics and a brilliant collection of people. So, thankyou for those that made the time to attend. I'll just introduce the ElectricityStorage Network as well very briefly. We are the voice for the electricitystorage sector in the UK. We have over 60 member organizations now coveringeverything from developers to optimizers to asset owners and we have five veryactive working groups which have kind of informed the agenda for today.

Including one on fire safety. The kind of the purpose is totry and show some of the work we've been doing and kind of have a really gooddiscussion around it. Today is going to be a panel session. I'll be introducingmy panel in just a second. But in terms of how it's going to work andhousekeeping, you have the opportunity to use the Q&A function. Forquestions please do use the Q&A function and for general discussion pointsuse the chat. A quick reminder that within the Q&A function you can like oruprate questions and that'll be really helpful from from my perspective aschair to kind of see which the most popular questions to ask our fantasticpanel.

The chat function ... please just use it as a discussionboard. So if you've got anything that you're working on, that you think is isparticularly interesting, that relates to fire safety, any links, introduceyourself ... that's the use of the chat function. Please do use that. We willbe recording the sessions so they all will be available free online and thatwill be going on to the event webpage. You should have a link in your emails oryou can just google for the Electricity Storage Network Annual Conference 2023and it will come up. I think that's it from a housekeeping point of view. If wejust move on ... I just take a minute or two to introduce some of the workwe've been doing ... the Electricity Storage Network around fire safety andprimarily it's been focused in the working group and the sustainability, safetyand supply chain working group. For the last year or so we've looked at firesafety as a kind of particular focus area. Mainly because there's just beenlots of feedback from members and from the industry. There's a lot of pressureon that aspect, that topic at the moment. So, I think that the way we've beenapproaching it is to kind of try and share best practice. Identify what iscurrently happening in in the UK market, try to look abroad into theinternational scene and pull in kind of examples that perhaps other territoriesare doing something slightly better around fire safety - in particularlyaround.  When we're talking about firesafety this is kind of grid scale electricity storage here, particularlyfocused around lithium ion I think it's fair to say. And we've been havingregular catch-ups and quarterly meetings for the last few years on fire safety andsome very good discussions around what we should be doing and some pulling togethersome of the key organizations that are doing really really good things. Andthat's the point of this discussion really is to showcase some of thoseexcellent organizations and really open up that discussion a bit further. Great... without further ado I'll try and move on and introduce our panel. I'm akind of substitute, so apologies if you’re hoping to see Sophie. Sophie's ill.I'm substituting in as chair today.

You probably got bored of my voice already as I've done twoother sessions yesterday and I've got another one later but hopefully I’ll be agood substitute for her. I'll just quickly introduce my slides and then theycan introduce themselves in a second. Julian from Fluence, obviously OEM. Doinga lot on fire safety. A really good international view of the market. Dr.Kai-Philipp Kairies, based in Germany but doing a lot of work across Europeparticularly and in the UK Market as well at ACCURE. Matt Aldridge, the Head ofElectricity Storage at BEIS, the department for business energy industrialstrategy. They effectively kind of trying to direct the policy around andhealth and safety and electricity storage more generally. And finally Taylorfrom EPRI Electric Power Research Institute who are based in the US and havebeen doing some really excellent work about collating best practice on firesafety and some really interesting research findings. Okay, I think I'll ask mypanelists to introduce themselves and there's a couple of slides just to helpwith the introduction as well. I will go to Dr Kai-Philipp Kairies first tojust introduce ACCURE and some of the work you guys have been up to. So, overto you Kai.


Dr. Kai-Philipp Kairies (06:33:18):

Awesome, thank you. My name is Kai, I'm the CEO andco-founder of ACCURE Battery Intelligence.

I'm an engineer by education, spent the last 14 years in thebattery world and had the privilege to lead the largest research group onstationary batteries in Europe for a few years before spinning out to join andfound ACCURE. What we do at ACCURE is basically ...  we're making data that batteries alreadygenerate more usable and we support companies that build, own or operatebattery assets in leveraging that data to make them more safe more reliable andmore sustainable. This is a panel on battery safety and it's on everyone'smind. We have seen the incidents ... Moss Landing just a few months back, butmany others before that and we have found that using data that companiesalready have, we can substantially reduce the risk of thermal runaway by earlyprediction, by just shutting a system down weeks before something reallyhappens. And the nice thing is it scales really well. So, this is not ahypothetical research project but we're at the moment managing about twogigawatt hours of storage assets and we're onboarding another gigawatt hourover the next five months. So, we'll be at three gigawatt hours pretty soon. Abig percentage of that is large-scale BESS in Europe, especially in in the USright now huge market opportunity.  Ithink there's one more slide ... let’s see what. Yeah, that's just marketing.We we've been doing that for quite some time. I think there's quite a few interestingexamples. I'm very happy to share them, how it looks in the reality. Lookingforward to the discussion.


Oliver Frankland (08:45:16):

Thanks, Kai. Much appreciated. Two gigawatt hours is quiteconsiderable. That's a fair amount of capacity you've got in your portfoliothere. Taylor, I'll go to you next. And you just got one slide to introduceyour company and what you guys are up to.


Taylor Kelly (09:02:11):

Yes, thanks, Olly. Hi, everyone. I'm Taylor Kelly. I'm atechnical leader with EPRI. My background is in lithium-ion battery researchand development, inspections and failure analysis. For those of you who areunfamiliar with EPRI we're a independent non-profit energy research anddevelopment organization based in the US. We work on all things electricity.The team that I'm a part of focuses specifically on energy storage. That imageon the bottom left that is our energy storage roadmap that guides our research,and we believe that these 15 future states for energy storage can be achieved by2025 - fingers crossed.. Today's discussion is about safety. Safety is one ofthe core pillars of our energy storage roadmap. We have a dedicated. safetyresearch project that is ongoing at EPRI that looks at specifically batteryenergy storage. The interest in this research was really sparked after the 2019Arizona battery energy storage explosion and it became very evident in theindustry that there was not enough being done about safety. So, this researchproject has happened in two phases. Phase one was really trying to understandthe state of safety. And so, the result of phase one was a a fire safety roadmap that we developed. It identified 22 areas of research and technologydevelopment that we felt should be pursued to further improve safety. It was anice bubble chart that shows difficulty to achieve a longer time and time toachieve access. Phase two is looking at that fire safety roadmap and thentrying to develop tools in direct response to some of the gaps that we hadfound in the industry. On the right side of this slide is just a pictorialexample of some of the research that we have done. We've done a battery burntesting to understand what the emissions are that come off of the battery whenit's in thermal runaway and this is helping to guide ongoing research right nowunderstanding um fire plumes from a battery storage fire as well as waterrunoff for firefighting.

We also have a fire safety design trade study to understandthe cost trade-offs of putting in safety retrofits. We have an explosioncalculator. It takes into account NFPA 68 and 69 calculations it's kind of ajust rough calculation based on the size of your system, what sort of ventingthat you expect and it's looking at fire and explosion hazards. We aredeveloping  - and I think there may havebeen a first generation of this I'm not sure exactly how far in development itis -  but we're developing an augmentedreality maintenance and safety tool, so operators can use this tool, walkaround their site and use things like thermal imaging to identify if there's ahot module within the container and know not to enter the container. It givesyou a general reading of what the state of charges of your battery ...  just important information that operatorsshould be aware of before trying to enter any of these energy storagecontainers. At the bottom I have a fire responder a first responder sorry a VR training that's something that we're hoping to develop. Part of our research isfocused on helping to educate First Responders, because you know manyfirefighters have not dealt with lithium-ion battery fires. Some of them haveunfortunately had to put out either EV fires or BESS fires but the largemajority of people don't know when they're coming onto a site what is there andwhat the best practice is and how to fight the fire. So, we're hoping that animmersive kind of training  tool issomething that can help the industry with better safety practices and this isjust a flavor of some of the research that we're doing. storagewiki.appry.comis our go-to website for better understanding all of the research that we'redoing. so I highly advise you to check it out if you are interested in the workthat we're doing.


Oliver Frankland (14:21:09):

Thanks, Taylor. And I particularly like to highlight the VR training. We've got a little trial of that which is really interesting to seethat, how that would work in practice and education is a massive part of it,right? That's fantastic. Julian, I'll move over to you. Fluence ... introduceyourself and your role in the sector. Of course




Julian Jansen (14:44:07):

I'll try to keep it short and snappy on this one and then wecan move on to the main discussion. Hi everyone. My name is Julian Jansen. I'mresponsible for strategy, market development and policy at Fluence in the EMEAregion. who's Fluence? Fluence is the largest supplier of energy storagesystems. Globally we've deployed or are currently deploying 5.5 gigawatt ofbattery energy storage assets across- I think it's now more than 30 differentmarkets. We've actually been deploying for our parent organizations storagesystems since 2008 which means we've learned a lot of lessons and we understandhow to put storage systems in the field, how to operate them in the long termand how to make sure we maintain both performance and safety to the higheststandard. We're now deploying our sixth generation of battery energy storagesystems and looking to actively drive standards in the industry forward becauseultimately that's something that benefits all of us and it's really critical Ithink for the health of the industry if we want to deploy more of this verycritical technology to meet our energy transition goals. So, that's really therole we are trying to take.  We look tobe the best-in-class leader on safety and it's really inherent to us as anorganization, it is a fundamental policy principle in this organization thatsafety is very much on top of the agenda across everywhere from design toinstallation, to operation and services of the system.


Oliver Frankland (16:13:06):

Thanks, Julian. That's great, thanks for having me along.Matt from BEIS ... Introduce yourself and we know your role but would be greatto hear more from you.


Matt Aldridge (16:23:14):

Good afternoon everybody. Matt Aldridge, Head of ElectricityStorage Policy in BEIS. I am responsible for all scales of storage. That's thedomestic batteries way up to - not for today's topic - but like that pumpedhydro storage. Obviously that's got a huge um array. But the health and safetyissues are there extend through throughout all of them. Now my goal in BEIS ...we came up with - back into 2021 - the smart systems and flexibility plan totry and make a smarter, more flexible energy system to get to Net Zero. Andwe're all about trying to find the barriers, removing the barriers to allow themarket to come in and fill that gap to create that Zero energy system goingforward. That's all well and good but if we don't do that in a way that is safethen we'll end up undermining the case for it. And there's quite a few policyinteractions which I'm keen to discuss later because it gets quite complex.Because although I sit in BEIS whenever I talk about health and safety Iactually spend a lot of time talking to planners in D luck, I talked to peoplein HSE, health safety executives, and people in the home office. So, it becomesquite a complex network of government where everyone's trying to protectconsumers as well as create the conditions for the market to bloom. But we'requite clear we're going to need lots more electricity storage and that meanslots more batteries and lithium-ion batteries across the country. We can'tundermine the case for it by not doing this in a way that where the regulationis is is safe going forward so our approach is very much trying to work withyou guys, work with industry to come up with the appropriate responses as we goforward. Thanks very much for having us here today and I'm looking forward tothe discussions going forward.


Oliver Frankland (18:26:19):

Great, thanks Matt. Comprehensive introduction and a quickreminder to add your questions to the Q&A and a reminder to kind of upvotethose that you think are most interesting and I will thread those through intothe discussion wherever possible.  Ithink maybe just a quick introductory question again off the back of thatreally is, where do we think the current state of best practice is in terms offire safety and we've got a bit of an international flavor here but I'mprobably try and hone it a little bit into the kind of UK market and then pullin international examples if that's okay. So I suppose maybe if I come to youJulian, because you've got a pretty good view of some of the different movingparts and obviously. I think you guys are pretty active in Ireland as well.They're doing quite a lot there in terms of best practice. If I come to youfirst Julian and then I'll introduce the rest of the panel as well. So, Julian.


Julian Jansen (19:24:01):

I think you know ultimately we have to recognize that we'renot dealing with a completely new novel technology right I think we have torecognize that batteries in the use are widespread, right. We've got 8.7million EVs and plug-in hybrids across the world and we've got almost 5 billionmobile phones probably. Got over 12 gigawatt hours of BESS operational acrossthe world. So, we're not dealing with a completely new technology. Of course,the specific technologies and use cases vary quite significantly across those.But we are dealing with a known technology, but we're just dealing with thescale-up of a a more novel application. Here I think that's a really criticalpiece to always highlight when we talk about in particular battery safety. Thepoint that I think for me is critical to look at right now is that I think inthe UK we have a real lack of clear standards and guidelines. Of course,there's some guidelines out there. That doesn't necessarily mean we're sittingthere calling for UK specific standards or UK specific regulation, becausethere's actually a lot that we can learn from international standards,international regulation. If we look at for example now UL 9548 testing in theUS as a really important example on how storage systems deal with them or runaway and deal with explosions or fire events within the system, then that'ssomething that we should say is applicable for the UK as it is for any otherglobal market really. I do think however there is a big gap and a need for theindustry to move forward and really be forward-leaning and provide guidelineson what should be considered best practices and what should be considered bestpractices from a whole system approach - all the way from the very first pointaround testing and system design, all the way to operation and end of life andalso first responder training which we see - and Taylor really highlightednicely earlier in her introduction already - so looking at that and beingforward leaning as an industry and come forward with what we consider bestpractice is to me the only way that we can continue to scale and to ensure thatthe technology we use in the field as we scale- up is safe operation and wedon't risk alienating the communities where these assets are being done.


Oliver Frankland (21:40:14):

Thanks, Julian. That's a lot of good points there. I'll cometo Kai next, if that's okay and obviously you've got very much a data focus tobest practice I suppose. But anything if you want to add.



Dr. Kai-Philipp Kairies (21:50:20):

Well, first of all I can only second what Julian just said.I think that it really hits the nail on the head and one thing that ... Allof us that are working in energy storage or in batteries we're used to extremegrowth rates. Because that's our daily business. But if you just take two stepsback and you look at what's actually happening right now, like the the speed atwhich we're ramping up production around the world, the speed at which we'rebringing new technologies - be it silicon anodes or new cathode flavors - intothe market. It's mind-boggling. And one problem or one challenge of scalereally is if you have a failure rate of five in a million, that's mostly okayfor most applications but if you start to build a hundred billion of thesetypes, five in a million is too many. So, with increasing scale the productionquality must improve dramatically because otherwise the absolute failurenumbers become unacceptable. And it's not battery production quality but alsocompanies like Fluence and others, they grow extremely fast. It's difficult tohave at all times highly qualified people staffed into these companies andeveryone's struggling with that. So, really just because of the vast growth ofthis industry we are looking at systematic problems that affect safety. And onegreat example I believe where we can all learn a lot from is, this is not thefirst time that a new technology scales fast. If you just look at solar in theearly 2000s ... the exact same thing happened you know many of those companiesthat started solar in the 2000s they're no longer around because somethinghappened that killed the company. You had buyers, you had early failures, youhad insane warranty claims. 30 years ... three years later that companywas no longer around. I think we can learn a lot from solar and speaking aboutthe data perspective ... also one thing that we saw is that today there'sno commercially operated solar installation without an asset managementsoftware. The same goes for wind. If an asset is so expensive you want to knowif it's working and if it's safe. And I think that batteries are in this phaseof professionalizing and that we'll see much more of that in the next years.


Oliver Frankland (24:42:01):

Thanks , Kai. I'll come to you, Matt, next if that's okaybecause obviously you've got a very very much focus on the UK/GB market. Ithink James in the chat mentioned there's an IT best kind of practice, versionthree due to be coming out in 2023 and I know there's stuff ongoing in terms ofthe base health and safety governance group. What are your thoughts in terms ofpulling together that best practice and standards that Julian mentioned andthings like that?


Matt Aldridge (25:14:07):

This is the thing and I think I can't remember your questionwas right at the beginning was like how are we doing relative to the rest ofthe world sort of thing in regulations. There's regulation there and it's inlots of different places and I think pulling it together is the key thing andhaving a systematic way of learning from events around the world and in puttingthem into the way that we manage our regulation here, is what's important. Yes,it's not new technology, it's a new application of technology and it's beingscaled up but when it comes to regulation that basically means it's new andit's coming at us in a way that we find it difficult to keep up with. The worldof regulation isn't fast. Lots of people in industry like to run fast and breakthings and I think I heard someone say, that government's job is to run slowand put things back together. We need to make sure we get it right, because ifwe get it wrong, we'll do more harm to the industry in the long term. Iunderstand how that can be frustrating to lots of people in the industry but ifyou look at world leaders on applying these technologies and smart systemsacross their grids around the world - and I'm thinking of Australia and I'mthinking of the US and I'm thinking of Europe ...  with their thereabouts we're all learning atthe same pace I think. So, it answered your original question. I think we'rethere and I think we can do better, and I think a lot of the hard work's beendone it's just a case of pulling it all together into a way that's consumablefor people to understand and learn from going forward.


Oliver Frankland (26:54:24):

Thanks, Matt. That's really helpful and maybe I'll come toyou, Taylor, now in terms of how do you see the kind of best practice comingthrough and obviously you guys are doing a really good job in collating thatinto kind of a database, particularly around incidents and transparency andthose kind of issues come up all the time in the discussions as well. Anythingyou want to mention there, Taylor?


Taylor Kelly (27:19:03):

This is a very broad question. So best practice I thinkplays into the entire life cycle of the asset, right. From procurement, design.implementation, O&M, response if there is a failure and thendecommissioning. And everybody who's involved in each of those different partsof the project are likely only involved in their part of the project. Theymight not be involved in every single step and so this kind of goes back to toeducation and unfortunately we learn by doing. There's only so much that we canlearn from reading papers, we can say theoretically this should be safe andthen in practice something fails and it's catastrophic. And the goal is to tryand minimize those or at least if there is a catastrophic failure we can do itin a safe manner, in a controlled manner. And this is where education comes inthrough the entire kind of life cycle of of the system. From design ... you know,understanding what sort of mitigating equipment can be introduced into thesystem to try and control a fire.  Whenit comes to O&M what sort of equipment do people need to be wearing. whatdo they need to be aware of when they're entering into a container when itcomes to a failure, who are the people that need to be on call, what are thefirst responders doing? Are they trained; do they understand how to enter thepremises? There are multiple facets of best practices but understanding kind ofthe fundamentals of why a battery would fail and what the failure looks likecan help to inform each of those steps along the process and help to developbest practices based on that.


Oliver Frankland (29:27:07):

Thanks, Taylor. Maybe a kind of follow-up to that and therewas a question in the Q&A regarding first responders and fire safety. MaybeMatt and Julian have points on this as well as regarding so how do you thinkfirst responders in the UK or in other jurisdictions are doing? Because I thinkwe've had discussions in the working group regarding the first responders and Ithink the problem in the UK/ the GB is there's each fire service is quitedistinct and they have different practices and things like that.

 Is there any kind of particular issues you're seeing witheducating first responders and getting those kinds of best practices within thefirst responder community let's say. If I come to Matt first ...  


Matt Aldridge (0:30:13:21):

I'll jump into defender the fire departments going to the UKthere it's quite fragmented in the way it's organized. But the way they'reapproaching it and working with us and trying to learn I think at the minute,it is better than that, is much more joined up. o the Fire Chiefs Council arecertainly leading trying to understand the ways in which we can best plan andprevent incidents in a way when it comes to the planning of these sites toensure that there is the right access, the right water supply and the rightmarkings are all there. So, they're very much leading on this and they'reactually looking into best practice across the fire services in the UK at theminute, on how to approach these incidents. They're definitely alert to it. Ithink through groups like the health and safety governance group we hope tobring together industry alongside the fire services so they can talk to eachother. Because the fire services are obviously experts in putting out fires butthey're not experts in batteries and you need to bring the two together.Hopefully we're facilitating that going forward. I think they're approaching itwell. I mean, how well that goes down and as we've been talking about with thespeed of the proliferation and like you said at the beginning we're talking alot about grid sites here but I think what worries a lot of fire you know ...and I can't speak for the fire services but from talking to them, what I thinkworries them a lot isn't necessarily the big industrial sites which are welllabeled and things like this. It's actually scooters and electric cars andthings in people's homes which are not as well regulated, not as well installedand can have significant consequences in that way.


Oliver Frankland (32:08:23):

Great, thanks Matt. That's very helpful and  good defense in the fire service. Apologiesfor that. Kai, I'll come to you because I think you've done a fair bit of workin identifying causes and particularly that angle of the end there, arounddomestic smaller scale, risk associated there. Have you got any thoughts onthat?  


Dr. Kai-Philipp Kairies (32:26:04):

It's a big part of what we do as a company to analyze theoperational data of batteries in all sorts of applications. A big part is BESSbut also domestic storage, automotive commercial vehicles. And just to geteveryone on the same page ... Every battery has a BMS that continuously checksvoltage current and temperature. And that data in most cases today already isaccessible through a cloud. Certainly, for all BESS projects but also fordomestic storage and for automotive. And by looking into that data and applyingsome physics-based models, some machine learning, you can actually dig deeperinto what's going on inside of the battery. And in terms of safety that isextremely helpful because most of the safety measures that we apply today arereactive or passive. Like passive is I'm just going to put more space betweencontainers so if I lose one I don't lose another. And reactive mechanisms couldbe my BMS shuts down when the temperature goes above 60 degrees Celsius or 50degrees Celsius. But by the time it has reached that temperature shutting offthe system in most cases won't help you anymore. So, the question is really canwe go from passive and reactive to predictive? That would allow us to stop theoperation before something happens. Coming to your question is in order to dothat you need to find, you need to know what to look for, right? So, whatwe're basically doing, and I think what also some companies are doing in-houseis, can we identify internal processes of the battery that are highlycorrelated with safety, safety relevant topics? I'm just going to give you one example I think that's for people thathave worked with batteries a little bit. It’s quick to explain lithium plating.Lithium plating is when you charge a battery and the lithium ions they want togo into the anode and basically park there but for whatever reason they can'tso they just plate onto the anode. So, metallic lithium forms outside of theanode instead of going into it and that metallic lithium is highly problematic.Metallic lithium it's very reactive, it forms razor-sharp dendrites that candamage the battery itself. And from looking into how the voltage and current ofthe battery change, relative to the 10,000 other batteries in the site, you canactually see "oh, 9000 cells are going that way and this one cell is goingthe other way and we know that this is critical". And there's still a lotof untapped potential that we see that can be applied to systems evenretrofitted really easily because the data is already there. But of course dataanalytics cannot replace high production quality, cannot replace UL testing andall these other fun things. It's just one additional layer.


Oliver Frankland (36:00:15):

Just to follow up and actually taking in a question from theQ&A that we've got. What do you see the differences between the stationarystorage versus electric vehicles? Are you going to do both? Are there anyparticular kind of data requirements or differences between those two?


Dr. Kai-Philipp Kairies (36:18:07):

Actually the differences we see in battery data inside of anindustry are as big as they are across industries. So, if you're looking atlarge-scale storage we've seen everything from sub second data to one minutedata although most systems now are in the two to five second range because theyneed to interact for trading in that frequency. So, there are some quasistandards but the quality of the data it varies a lot from the major BESSoperators like Fluence and like others we've seen fairly good data. But what wehave seen also is that unless companies ask for this data proactively and maybeput it already into the tender or into any documentation pre-sales, they mighthave a hard time to get it later. So, you know .. my small advice is, make sureyou have access to the data from the very beginning. Whether you want to do ityourselves or work with someone else it’s valuable.


Oliver Frankland (37:29:23):

Great. Thanks, Kai. That is nice and clear. I'll haveanother question for the Q&A then if that’s okay for the panel.  Is there a likelihood for regulations to beintroduced regarding a locational criterion for energy storage? I suppose that’sthe risk, right? If we start getting be kind of exclusion zones for kind ofdevelopments and things like that. Does anyone have a view on whether that is akind of likelihood, a risk I suppose? I might come to Julian first and then toMatt and then Taylor.


Julian Jansen (38:07:20):

Thanks, Olly. I think I mean not too specifically on theexclusions, but one thing we have to ask us I mean one I don't actually thinkthat's the right way to go down in terms of determining that from the very topdown. The other thing, we have to really ask ourselves is where's a lot oflocation of value for these battery storage assets which is often actually indemand centers or around demand centers versus where maybe you don't want tobuild it, right? So, there's a big question we have to ask ourselves: Where'sbattery storage actually solving a lot of problems even though you may say youdon't want a site nearby. We're actually looking at California ...A lot ofthese assets, very large gas peaking replacement assets, are being built inurban areas. And you know what? People are pretty happy because they have cleanair. They don't have a fossil based fired power plant around the cornerpolluting the air anymore. So actually, for them it's a much bigger improvement.Now of course there may be certain considerations to take in particularobviously around nature reserves, any protected areas ... of course that is aconsideration. But we have to really think about clearly ... is an exclusionzone actually counterproductive to what we want to achieve? Secondly I thinkit's also really critical to take people on that journey. If these sites areright, I mean Taylor mentioned this earlier around the whole system approach,all the way from planning to end of life, mitigation alongside, training offire services in the local area ...  ifthis site is installed properly, designed properly, all mitigation and trainingmeasures are taken, then the risk to local communities is very very limited andin that case I don't see the need to drive exclusion zones based on whatevermeasure they may be going to follow. I think what's more critical is to makesure that the way it's installed is done properly, you know and that justdoesn't just touch upon the electricals, but it touches up on the civils. Makesure that you know you have the right fencing around the site etc etc, right?That comes into it  ... so making sureyou have the right installation, making sure you have the right trainingmitigation plans with the local fire services, make sure they're trained fromthe very start of this project to know exactly what's happening, exactly howthey should be responding and then making also very clear what is happeningwith that site at the end of its live and finding the right parameters aroundthose areas and actually I think industry has to drive a lot of that forwardbased on the experience we've got it rather than coming down with top-downdetermined exclusion zones that may be somewhat arbitrary and counterproductiveto what we're trying to achieve with these sites.


Oliver Frankland (40:35:01):

Thanks, Julian. Very clear. Matt, do you want to comment?


Matt Aldridge (40:41:19):

Yes, because I agree with everything Julian just said. But Ido want to say there's a potential risk here and that is with the public notunderstanding. So, we've just like everyone in this room understands the risksand we're all comfortable with the risks and we all think the rest are minimaland we all believe we can mitigate them, which is great. It doesn't take longfor a tiny bit of Hysteria to infect the way people perceive new technology andthat can really hold us back. So, I guess my plea as someone who works inpublic policy is for industry to understand that the more open and the moreprogressive that we can be about this and actually get ahead of it by puttingin and almost voluntarily restricting ourselves and putting in mitigations, wewill win over the public who are the people that we're going to have to likeyou say like locate these sites in urban areas where they're best required andthey can best dispatch when you know in the right time in the right place. Butit's about winning that over and I think we don't exist in a bubble.  Like I have political masters that I interactwith all the time. It almost doesn't matter how "pro" a minister isor "anti" a minister is, they also have Parliament, and theyhave their own constituents. So, we don't exist in this wonderful technologybubble where we can just push it forward. We have to understand that we areproviding services for consumers, and they need to be convinced that this issafe. We all have a job of work to do there to make sure that the publicunderstands exactly what these technologies are and what they're capable of.


Julian Jansen (42:23:16):

But actually, just to add on that, Matt, sorry forinterrupting, but I think just an important point. At the same time, I agreewith you, and I agree industry has a responsibility and we have to move thatforward and we have to take people on a journey. So, 100 percent alignment withyou on that. At the same time, we have investment signals the way storage iscurrently earning money, that is encouraging a pure race to the bottom. Andit's encouraging technology to come in from new suppliers with no track record,very little software capability, not really caring about the safety of theseassets and to a certain extent you know if the asset makes money maybe itdoesn't matter to some of those suppliers. So, the question is if we're drivingincentives in one way that is driving actually low-cost low-cost low-costbecause that's the only way to make the investment case cancel, that is acounter intuitive incentive if we're trying to at the same time get people tofrom the start think about safety, build projects properly and engage withlocal communities on top of that.


Oliver Frankland (43:27:04):

Fair point ,Julian and I think there's a lot of new entranceto the market as well and as Kai mentioned so much growth. It's a challenge toavoid that race to the bottom which you've seen in other Industries for sure.Taylor, I'll bring you in here as well. Is there anything you you'd like tokind of highlight in this area in terms of from what Matt and Julian have beentalking about there?


Taylor Kelly (43:51:13):

I agree with both, with what they've said. This is a complexkind of problem. This is where in the U.S the HJ or the authority havingjurisdiction plays a key role. Because they will determine what codes orstandards that the Energy System needs to abide by when it is getting put intothe ground. So, and what the HJ requires will vary across jurisdiction. So, ifyou have a rural environment they might not know a lot, there's a lot of openspace, they might not really care. Put it in, let it burn, if it goes up it'sfine. But when you're dealing with urban communities and you have a lot ofpeople around, there's extra care that they need to consider and should betaken to make sure that um people safety is thought of and incorporated intothe system design. With that I will say community buy-in is so important. Thesedays everybody is a YouTube Professor, everybody knows everything abouteverything, right.. And I was talking to a firefighter. He said " oh, youknow ... thermal runaway always leads to fire because it makes oxygen, it makesits own oxygen to burn", which is partially true but not enough oxygen to createa fire and explode. And so, there's little bits of truth in the things thatpeople have heard and grabbed onto, but it's nuanced, and batteries are complexand the failure mechanism is equally as complex. We have found that beingproactive in community engagement and going to community leaders, especially inunderserved communities right where they feel like they're being overlooked andoverseen, being proactive, going into those communities, talking to leaders,explaining what the project is and how it's going to improve their quality oflife, explain that this is not you know ... we are taking the safety measures thatyou are concerned about and making sure that these systems are not going topose a threat to you and we have this all planned out. And that is veryimportant in order to get rapid deployment I think in an agreeable fashion and not just like forcing it you knowonto the grid.


Oliver Frankland (46:14:10):

Great. Thanks,Taylor. I think we now had a really great overview.


Dr. Kai-Philipp Kairies (46:14:10):

Olly, may I jump in?  Because I think we had areally great overview about you know the key stakeholders that we have here.It's the industry, it's the regulators and it's the communities. But I thinkthere's one stakeholder missing that actually sits kind of in the middle of allof them and that's insurance groups. You know the traditional way to hatchagainst technology risk is to get an insurance and most of .. you knowespecially in the BESS space ... these are all project-based financing, so youhave a bank loan that needs to be somehow hatched with an insurance - at leastlike a property damage insurance most projects. And we've been working withinsurance groups regarding property damage since the day we started thiscompany. So, for almost three years we've been working with them, and wepartnered with a few and these ... they face the same challenge, but theyactually need ... they're an outside party that needs to bet on the safety of acertain system and on the risk of that. And so, they are having such a hardtime and although people you know you want to assume that there's these bigmathematical models in the background and they have an exact answer for therisk. No! So, you can see insurance rates skyrocketing after each individualfire although you have to say, well, statistically it happens once in a whilewhy should the insurance rate be more, higher the week after.  Because they're humans and I think there's abig gap between the speed at which the industry develops and sometimes evencommunities and you know the all the stakeholders that have an interest in in gettingthese things developed and insurance groups that are basically like maybe I'mnot insuring any of those anymore. We've seen companies completely go out of itbecause they said we don't know, we can't evaluate the risk and I think this isone point you know where data comes in really handy to bring transparency intothis process and to give also insurance groups the opportunity to say well, ifyou have all the red flags and still you do nothing about it you can't point afinger at me for paying  whatever happensthen. And so, I think this could be one enabler also to bring costs downbecause the insurance costs for storage - Julian knows this much better than Ido - have gone up substantially for many projects.


Oliver Frankland (49:00:24):

Thank you. Good point, Kai. I think insurance has beendefinitely a big pointer in some of the working group discussions we've had,and the role insurance is playing in driving I suppose more focused on firesafety particularly as you say prices have gone up so much. I'll widen thequestion a little bit then in terms of which we do have questions around kindof visibility, clarity and then maybe kind of summarize it by transparency andthe question from Andres is regarding OEMs. But I think maybe I'll widen it tobe what can we do as an industry to be more transparent around incidents, bestpractice, data ... you know all those kinds of things and maybe if I start withTaylor because I know you guys have got like an incident report on your wikipage. Is that right in terms of like an international incident report?


Taylor Kelly (49:54:04):

Yes. Transparency is key and we try to make a lot of oursafety research at least the high-level general learnings public and we'reworking to do that more and more. We do have a battery energy storage failureincident database. You can find it on that storage Wiki page and we aretracking battery failure events globally and I think that people that I'veinteracted with have found that to be hugely helpful because when we're onlyworking in one area we tend to have our blinders on and we're only focused inthat one area and then we see how big the problem is and like Korea has had anumber of fires but that's not something that we see in our news daily, right.And that helps to show that this is not a isolated problem, this is a global problem.And to Kai's point ... you know, scale up and a lot of this manufacturing ishappening in China, in Korea ... and so getting that visibility is so importantand one thing that I just want to say is, I like the panel that we have here.It's a lot of very diverse backgrounds. But I think data is such an importantpiece. Because data transcends. Any local ideas or jurisdictions or regulationsthat we have ... the data is the same across the board. The battery onlycharges to you know four point something volts and only discharges to howevermany volts. We can only use it so many ways. So, if we have that dataregardless of where the battery has been and we can understand how it's beenused we can more quantitatively you know bet on this technology being verysuccessful, we can understand how to safely and properly use it in otherapplications. So, that visibility is important for the life cycle of thebattery as well as safety ...  Justprojects generally having more transparency I think is key and it's somethingthat we're really really missing as an industry.


Oliver Frankland (52:12:24):

Thanks, Taylor. That's good. Maybe I'll come to you next,Julian and then I might widen it as well in terms of so transparency obviouslyvery important and then if you've got a kind of a specific ask as we're kind ofrunning towards the end of time ... is there any kind of specific ask that youthink the industry should be working on and if that from the ElectricityStorage Network point of view or wider than that, is there anything that that wereally need to be working more on? We've covered a lot of areas but trying tokind of condense that down.


Julian Jansen (52:42:24):

Actually, it's nice I can combine both into a single answerhopefully. So, I'm not sure it should work well. I mean look ... I agreeabout transparency. I think it's really important. We have to be open as muchas we can, we have to take people on that journey with us and I think for thatyou know if we take make it around specifics and tangibles we as theElectricity Storage Network um but also in particularly the working group ... Ithink we have to really take a more forward leaning posture and develop someclear best practices, right. Those are not binding regulation but bestpractices which everyone should as much as possible adhere towards but it'salso something we can then share with local communities, with planners, withpolicy makers and with fire services so they understand this is what the bestpractice looks like and they can take that to whoever is building a site andsay this is what we want to hold or the standard we want you to adhere to orhold up against and that is I think a really critical point because it touchesup on transparency but it also means we're forward leaning as an industry, wetake people on that journey and we really communicate what we believe is asbest practice. And as great example, we're just doing that actually in Irelandwith Energy Storage Ireland, doing exactly that exercise that's ended up beinga very very long document which was intended to be a short concise, snappydocument but actually it's really critical and we've engaged in Energy StorageIreland, we've engaged with the fire services. So actually, we had webinarswith the Fire Chiefs across the Republic and Northern Ireland. Because again... it's very critical to help them understand it and dispel myths. And again... the same can be done in the UK. There are great fire departments. Let'stake them on a journey with us, let's help educate them, let's answer theirquestions open and transparently. We can have Chatham House Rules, webinarswhere we have those discussions, and we bring different experts to the table.So, my call would really be to foster that transparency, to foster betterstandards to allow us to scale. Let's develop some clear best practices andlet's communicate with the people for whom these matters the most.


Oliver Frankland (54:48:19):

Thank you, very helpful. And Energy Storage Island doinggreat things. We'll try and emulate them as much as possible at ElectricityStorage Network in the UK. Matt, I'll come to you next. Obviously very muchfront incentive for you guys and you've got the kind of the existing health andsafety governance group. Is there anything kind of asks that you have from usin the industry as well or just ...


Matt Aldridge (55:08:11):

I guess I sort of just repeat what I said earlier. I agreethat Julian said, and you know we actually do have quite a good relationship,but we're going to have a busy year coming up. There is a private member billsto do with battery safety that's going through at the minute with Maria Miller.So, I do ask that everyone is aware of that like I said that politicaldimension which  I know we can bedismissive of because we can think "oh, that's just fear-mongering"or they just don't understand we need to engage with  these legislators and  these lawmakers because they have a hugeeffect and they will direct policy and if we're not careful we'll end up beingpushed down roots which not only do we not want but are unnecessary andwe'll  harm the industry going forward inthe future. It's that - and we've all said it today - so you know but it's thatwhole knowledge dispels fear and being open and reaching out to communities andit's you know. It's a little bit of understanding where the risks are but alsoreally selling what this technology does because you know it just looks likebatteries and I don't think people really understand how important they are toget into that zero really. So, it's that whole bit.


Oliver Frankland (56:26:19):

Thanks, Matt. That's clear. Kai, wrapping up thoughts as weare rapidly running out of time. Any particular ask that you'd focus on? I'mguessing it will be around data. Well, actually I would say I have two topics.One is like me and my role as coming from a battery data company related andone more broadly towards the industry. And you know ... all the thingsthat we're discussing now are based on an insane growth of the entire industrythat is - if you look at the next 10 years - at the very beginning of thecurve, right. All of our goals for 2030, all of our electrification goalsdirectly or indirectly mean that the energy storage industry will grow about 30percent year over year. That's scary because it feels like everyone is alreadymaxed out you know in terms of their attention span, in terms of what they cando. So, we have a lot of stuff coming and so I believe finding a good basethat's scalable to cope with all these new things - now sodium ions are coming.You know the industry had shifted within two years from uh NMC-based cathodesto mostly LFP for stationary applications. 10 years ago or even seven, eightyears ago LFP was dead, like people said ... oh you know scaling effects ofNMC, they're gonna you know take the whole market. No, they didn't.  Two years later completely differenttechnology. Deal with it. SOC calculation doesn't work, we're still buildingthem. And so there's a lot of topics where I believe we need to findscalability to just be able to to juggle all of these balls. So, if everyone'sdoing their own thing. it won't work. Just from a matter of scale. Specifically,when it comes to data I would say we don't need standards but best practices.What Julian said ... I totally echo that. It's enough if the willing can agreeon a certain range of things we should do. When it comes to data you know Ithink we're in the process, we are bilaterally working with many of the storagecompanies but maybe it would be time to do something more public maybe laterthis year. But once we have interoperability also for the project developers,if I have five different projects with five different data sets ... it's notefficient, right? So, in terms of scalability we need a little bit more bestpractices or standards. But I think we're working on it. So this panel gives mehope.


Oliver Frankland (59:19:06):

Work in progress. I like that. Maybe that's a reasonablygood message to end on. Plenty to be getting stuck in with. I'll just ... weare out of time unfortunately. I think we could carry on talking about this fora little while longer. But I'll just get the slides back up so I can just giveyou a quick outro in terms of what else we have coming up. So, just a reminder... Energy Storage Network is a membership organization. If you're not amember, please do join. It's very inexpensive and you get fantastic value. I'myour kind of main contact. Please do drop me an email and the details will besent to you via email as well. And we have lots of working groups. That's themain value you get from your membership and obviously the one covering firesafety is on the bottom there - Sustainability, Safety and Supply Chain. Nextmeeting is 21st of March, but we've also got a whole other host of other stuffto kind of get to grips with and for you to get along too. And finally, Just akind of very quick thank you to all of our sponsors ... Sorry, no. We'll goback one more. I have one more session for you later on this afternoon on quickconnections.  The kind of key topic inthe sector at the moment apart from fire safety which we've just covered.Hopefully some of you will be logging on to that. And a very final thank you toour sponsors so Road Knight Taylor which we'll be hearing from at threeo'clock,  Fluence ... Julian and othersthank you very much for sponsoring, Schneider Electric Ethical PowerConnections, Ampex and I just say thank you very much to our wonderful panelfor taking the time out to have a discussion with us today and see you allagain soon at some point. Thanks all.

About the author

Connect with me