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Statkraft enlists Fluence for transmission-connected BESS in UK

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Norwegian state-owned power producer Statkraft has enlisted system integrator Fluence for a 50MW transmission system-connected battery energy storage system (BESS) in the UK.

The Neilston BESS project will be installed at Neilston Greener Grid Park in Renfrewshire, Scotland, and will support National Grid ESO in ensuring system stability as more renewable energy sources come online. This includes providing inertia and short-circuit power to the grid, something not typically provided by most BESS projects in the UK.

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The project was awarded under Phase 2 of the UK’s Stability Pathfinder programme, which aims to replace the synchronous fossil fuel generators that have historically worked to provide stability through those services. National Grid ESO completed Phase 1 of the Stability Pathfinders programme, which comprised 12 new units, earlier this year, as reported by our sister site Current. Fluence’s announcement did not say when the project would be commissioned, however.

Lloyd Godwin, Principal Project Manager at Statkraft commented: “We are pleased to be working with Fluence who will be providing the technology for our Neilston Greener Grid Park project, which has recently started construction.”

“The project will provide an essential service to stabilise the power grid and allow more renewable energy to be transmitted through the network, without relying on coal and gas-fired power stations,” added Godwin. “This means fewer harmful emissions, and lower bills for consumers, because renewable energy is cheaper.”

It is Statkraft’s first BESS project connected directly to the transmission network, the company said. This means it connects directly into the high-voltage transmission network run by National Grid, rather than the lower-voltage distribution networks run by distribution network operators.

The benefits of direct connection are a more reliable grid connection and greater visibility in the National Grid ESO control room. In the past, it also meant a quicker grid connection as fewer companies were deploying projects on the high-voltage network, although this has shifted over the last few years.

It brings Fluence’s total BESS deployments in the UK and Ireland to 1.4GWh, and is its third in partnership with Statkraft.

Fluence has also earmarked the BESS-as-a-transmission-asset segment as a strategic focus, launching a dedicated product, the Ultrastack, for projects solely serving the needs of transmission system operators. It recently won its second order for such a project in Germany and is deploying them elsewhere too.

The company also today announced the opening of an India Innovation Centre which will serve as a global center of excellence to support Fluence’s growth globally.

“India has set tremendous energy transition targets and the rapid build-out of energy storage is needed for meeting those targets,” said Fluence senior vice president and president, APAC Jan Teichmann. “The future in India is bright and we look forward to continuing to partner with customers locally and supporting the clean energy transition in India and globally.”

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