BILLA has bet on green. With our battery brAIn, the company has reduced its emissions by almost 25%

BILLA continues to modernise its headquarters and the adjacent grocery store on Bajkalská Street in Bratislava, in the spirit of increasing energy efficiency. The flagship store has been testing a pilot project of smart battery storage brAIn by FUERGY with a capacity of 108 kilowatt hours for almost a year. Over this period, the carbon footprint of the building has shrunk by around 25% as the grocery retailer actively helps to decarbonise the Slovak energy sector.

  • Published: 26. 01. 2024
  • Written by: Fuergy

We probably don't need to introduce the grocery chain BILLA to anyone. As one of the largest supermarket chains in Slovakia, it has a rich history and has been building on quality for many years.

And not only when it comes to the selection of goods, the company also brings quality to its customers through a pleasant and undisturbed shopping experience with a low burden on the environment.

The latest techologies

BILLA is now utilising a range of state-of-the-art technologies, such as systems for recovering waste heat from food refrigeration to heat stores, LED lighting and an extensive measurement and control system.

From 2022, the company uses only natural refrigerants with a low global warming potential or GWP = 1 in refrigeration systems. In addition, a big part of its inventory is made of recyclable materials and the company is also investing in the promotion of electromobility.

Photo: Smart battery storage brAIn by FUERGY with 108 kWh capacity

Adding to the latest technological innovations is our brAIn smart battery storage, which we installed to improve energy efficiency of the flagship building. Thanks to our unique solution, BILLA has gained a number of economic and environmental benefits.

Photo: Headquarters with BILLA store on Bajkalska Street in Bratislava

What makes the BILLA store on Bajkalská Street different?

The Bratislava headquarters and grocery marketplace is the largest, most modern and most visited BILLA outlet in Slovakia. With an annual electricity consumption of approximately 1.6 gigawatt hours, it provides space for more than 300 employees and an average of 105,000 customers per month.

Since 2019, this location has also used a solar system based on photothermal panels, which supplies hot water to both the head office and the shop. Thanks to it, annual emissions have been cut by up to 30%.

Photo: Photothermal panels on the roof of the BILLA headquarters

In the spacious car park, you will find chargers for electric cars or large-capacity collection points for the purchase of PET bottles and cans.

Solution design and installation process

Our design of the battery storage began with an energy analysis of the plant, when we examined its power consumption diagram, reserved capacity and maximum reserved capacity.

One condition for the installation of brAIn storage is also to have the electricity contract with one of our partner electricity suppliers.

Given that the operation does not yet have its own local green resource such as solar panels, we chose a storage capacity of 108 kilowatt hours.

Should BILLA decide to install a PV system, the storage capacity could be raised to 216 kilowatt-hours. In that case, the battery storage would also help to increase the effectiveness of on-site generated energy, for example by storing the solar surplus for later use.

Photo: brAIn storage installation site

As part of the site survey, we identified a suitable location for the battery system in an area right next to the main switchboard. The space, which once served as a heat exchanger station, allowed us to install a cost-effective indoor version, which is also able to accommodate potential extra battery capacity. Pylontech's non-flammable LiFePO4 batteries with a 15-year life were used.

Photo: Smart battery storage brAIn by FUERGY with 108 kWh capacity

During the summer operating season, we also identified the need for an air conditioning unit to cool the battery cells as the storage room was prone to overheating due to the strong sunlight. Such a measure will not only improve the performance of the storage and prevent potential system failures, but will also extend the life of the system. This will allow BILLA to use the storage as a UPS or backup power source at a later date.

What did the BILLA store on Bajkalská Street gain?

Modern technology with a payback of up to five years

Nowadays, the introduction of green innovations is not only interesting ecologically, but also financially. Modern technologies, such as our brAIn battery storage, can quickly earn their keep by providing so-called non-certified ancilary services. In a nutshell, this means that when there is a surplus of energy on the grid, the energy is stored and then released to the utility during peak times, when demand and thus also the energy prices are higher. In this way, BILLA saves energy costs and at the same time helps to protect the power grid.

BILLA financed the storage facility itself. Their initial investment is expected to be recouped in about five years and will then become a net source of income.

Reduction of carbon footprint and improved ESG score

Thanks to the emission-free battery storage, which replaces the fossil fuel sources typically providing ancillary services to the power grid, BILLA can improve its ESG score by almost 73 tonnes of CO2e emissions year-on-year. This savings represents a reduction in the building’s total carbon emissions from electricity consumption alone of approximately 25%.

To save the same amount of emissions, for example, BILLA would have to use a solar power plant with 463 kWp (kilowatt peak) installed capacity, or it would have to plant about 3,500 mature trees.

The carbon footprint of the installed storage itself is only 13.2 tonnes of CO2e, according to our life cycle analysis. This means that brAIn has already successfully paid off its carbon debt and is now producing net CO2e savings.

BILLA takes its responsibility to society and future generations seriously. It does not just pay lip service, but actively engages in protecting the future and contributing to Slovakia's green energy transformation.

Zero worries

BILLA acquired our brAIn battery storage as an all-in-one turnkey solution without any hassle. We designed, installed and put the storage in the operation. We also manage the service and maintenance regularly throughout its lifetime to ensure the best possible results every time.

Of course, some administrative tasks required the assistance of BILLA's energy department, which was first class. Today, however, the customer no longer needs to care about anything, but simply keep track via the app of how the brAIn battery storage system is behaving and how much it is earning.


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