EDF’s completed 49MW battery system brings nearly all EFR projects over the line

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EDF has brought online the 49MW West Burton B battery to deliver Enhanced Frequency Response to National Grid. Image: EDF.

EDF has completed one of the UK’s largest battery storage projects, bringing online the 49MW West Burton B project to provide Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) services for transmission operator National Grid.

Only one project remains incomplete of the eight to have won contracts with the transmission system operator back in August 2016, with Foresight’s 35MW project at the Port of Tyne expected to begin operation in August.

West Burton B was officially opened on Friday (22 June) by Jean-Bernard Lévy, the EDF Group chairman and chief executive; Bruno Bensasson, the group executive vice-president in charge of renewable energies; and EDF Energy chief executive officer, Simone Rossi.

The trio also unveiled the 41.5MW Blyth wind farm off the Northumberland coast, with Lévy pointing to the projects as evidence of EDF’s expertise in renewable energy and electricity storage.

Rossi added: “These projects show how EDF is investing in new technologies to promote the development of renewable energies in the UK. At Blyth, we have used innovation to drive down the cost of offshore wind power and at West Burton B we are setting up infrastructure, which will guarantee viability of a system increasingly focused on low carbon energy.”

The battery is the largest of the EFR-backed projects, providing almost a quarter of the 200MW of battery storage contracted two years ago to provide sub-second frequency response to the grid.

National Grid’s original guidelines gave developers 18 months to bring the projects online however only E.On and VLC Energy met this schedule, commissioning their sites in September 2017 and January 2018 respectively.

Vattenfall’s 22MW battery in Wales was delayed after the Swedish firm had to overcome “fascinating electrical engineering challenges”, while Enel’s 25MW Tynemouth battery only began commercial operation earlier this month.

Foresight’s Port of Tyne project will be the last to fulfil what was National Grid’s historic procurement of 200MW of EFR services after the investor confirmed to our sister site Current recently that the 10MW Nevendon project has been delivering services since end of March 2018.

EDF will now look to deliver 10GW of energy storage globally by 2035 following an investment of €8 billion (US$9.35 billion) announced in March. This is likely to include a 48MW battery planned for the UK at Lackenby near Middlesborough, which secured planning approval late last year.

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