Consisting of 3,000 individual lithium-ion batteries, the complex in Bedfordshire was built as part of a two-year trial aiming to protect the UK’s power grid from renewable energy fluctuations.
The £18.7m smart-battery system, built for UK Power Networks, as part of its Smart Network Storage project, by S&C Electric, Samsung SDI and Younicos, will store wind and solar energy at times of generation surplus to be used later when demand exceeds production.
“Energy storage can play a major role in balancing the grid as it solves the problem of renewable intermittence by absorbing surplus power and releasing it when needed,” explained Andrew Jones, managing director, S&C Electric Europe
“This function simultaneously helps to securely balance capacity and supply and protects the grid from stress events, such as power outages.”
The project partners believe the trial will prove that energy storage could further reduce costs for power network operators as it would remove the need to invest in traditional forms of grid reinforcement including building new transformers and laying cables.
Additionally the project will allow UK Power Networks to explore and improve the economics of electrical energy storage and assess the potential benefits to the electricity system in a number of sustainable and flexible ways.
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