Largest Battery Storage Site in UK Goes Live

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The largest UK battery storage energy system is now live, according to demand response firm Flexitricity and Gresham House Energy Storage Fund.

The impressive new energy storage system has a total capacity of 75 MWh and it is situated in Thurcroft, South Yorkshire. The site is to be optimised by Flextricity for revenue generation whilst also supporting the National Grid in the United Kingdom to balance the supply and demand of electricity.

The battery storage system is now a part of the Balancing Mechanism used by the National Grid. The mechanism is used to make sure the supply and demand of electricity is balanced in real time.

The mechanism allows providers to increase or decrease the amount of electricity they are supplying or demanding from the National Grid in order to help to balance the system. The mechanism is monitored by Flextricity at all times from their control room, then if need be Flextricity have the power to remotely change the charge and discharge levels from the South Yorkshire battery site.

The development is also able to trade the battery in the wholesale markets meaning it can tender for frequency response services. This means that the site will contribute towards helping Britain meet its energy requirements and also optimise the revenues for the site.

On the first day of going live, Flextricity took the asset into the National Grid’s Dynamic Containment Frequency Response service and from then onwards it has been securing high value contracts on daily occurrences.

With the addition of the new Thurcorft site, the United Kingdom now has an estimated 1 gigawatt of total installed battery storage capacity however it is thought the market still needs further growth if the United Kingdom wants to become a net zero energy system by 2050.

The director at Flextricity, Andy Lowe has stated that it flexibility is essential in helping to meet the net zero carbon goal and to achieve decarbonisation. Therefore, he believes battery storage systems will be very important as they are a very flexible technology to have in the grid.

Investors are now becoming more knowledgeable about battery storage systems and have realised the potential that they have. This is leading to more large battery sites coming online as investors are more willing to put their money into them. This in turn increases the flexibility the National Grid has as it will have more electricity supply to play with.

Lowe went on to state that he is happy with the progress that Flextricity has made, especially in securing the high priced tender of the National Grids Dynamic Containment Frequency Response Service. He hopes that high revenues can continue to be secured over the near future.

The managing director of Gresham House, Ben Guest has added to this by stating that Gresham House has plans to extend their battery storage portfolio and have a target of more than 350 megawatts of operational sites by the start of 2021. Guest went on to say that another 10 gigawatts at least need to be added in the next few years so that there is a smooth transition to renewable energy.

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