Nidec ASI has been selected as supplier of batteries to a 49MW energy storage project in the UK by EDF, which will help balance the grid and generate revenues until at least 2035.
EDF Energy Renewables, one of a number of divisions of the major European utility group, was among the winners of Britain’s enhanced frequency response (EFR) tender, which awarded 200MW in total. Other winners included fellow utilities E.On UK and Vattenfall, as well as developers and technology providers well known in solar or wind energy such as Low Carbon, Belectric and RES.
The 49MW project is being built at an existing gas generation site in West Burton, Nottinghamshire in England’s East Midlands. Italy-headquartered Nidec ASI, under the ownership of the overall Nidec Corporation group in Japan, will supply the battery storage system as well as power conversion technology.
Behind EDF's low bid price
Meanwhile, the energy management system will be provided by EDF’s own EDF Store & Forecast group. In a complex family tree of EDF group companies, EDF Store & Forecast is a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, which again is distinctly separate to EDF Energy Renewables.
The involvement of several EDF group branches helped the company to bid low in the EFR auctions, an EDF representative said at the Electricity Storage Network’s annual symposium last week. In fact, EDF’s bid was the lowest in the whole tender, bidding in at £7 (US$8.77) per MW per EFR/h. Other factors enabling this low bid included the fact that it is being co-located at the existing EDF gas facility, as well as the ‘stacking of revenues’ from the project – meaning that it will provide more than just the EFR service over its lifetime.
The West Burton facility has also been victorious in the more recent UK Capacity Market Auctions, which took place in December 2016. A total of 3.2GW of battery storage was awarded with 15 year contracts, so from 2020 to 2035, the West Burton storage plant will be compensated through that mechanism.