Renewable Energy Systems (RES) has completed work on its first utility-scale battery-based energy storage system in the UK, at a solar farm owned by British Solar Renewables (BSR).
The project will demonstrate various ways in which energy storage can benefit the local electricity distribution network operator (DNO), Western Power Distribution, which commissioned RES to build the system under a “fully-wrapped” engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal in January.
Connected to the 11kV network of the DNO, the battery energy storage system (BESS) is located at a 1.5MW solar farm near Glastonbury, Somerset. It will be used to ‘time-shift’ the solar power output of the farm to sell at the most attractive prices, as well as providing grid services. The 310kVA/668kWh battery storage system uses RES' own RESolve control platform and software for operation. Energy-Storage.News interviewed RES’ UK energy storage manager John Prendergast on the full scope of the project before it got underway.
UK-headquartered RES had 77MW/47MWh of energy storage projects operational or in construction at the beginning of this year, with a significant portion in the US frequency regulation market and others in Canada. The company now claims its total contracted portfolio is at 143.6MW/92MWh, as well as a further 200MW in development.
Government panel discusses energy storage
As the news was announced this morning, the UK’s governmental cross-party Energy and Climate Change Committee held a meeting with stakeholders in the energy system including Renewable Energy Association chief Dr Nina Skorupska and the Electricity Storage Network’s Dr Jill Cainey on the subject of “Energy revolution”.
The panellists were asked how best to develop a competitive and innovative storage market including the use of a target, or an overall strategy as a means to deploy more. All appeared to be in agreement that a good first step would be to define storage as an asset class.
Cainey said it was “difficult to see how we can make it all work. What scale do we want our storage and how do we want to bring it onto the market?”
Skorupska said that “even conventional forms of generation will benefit from electricity storage”.
“Slowly, slowly isn’t going to do it because we’ve been waiting for more than a year just for this damn consultation,” she added.
Finally, Barry Hatten, director of asset management at UK Power Networks, another distribution network operator, said it would be beneficial to change rules to allow DNOs to own storage on their networks.