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UK battery storage developer Pivot Power switches on second project in 2GW rollout

By Molly Lempriere
Aerial view of the 50MW / 50MWh project site in Kent, southern England. Image: Pivot Power.

UK battery storage developer and investor Pivot Power, battery technology provider Wärtsilä and major utility company EDF’s 50MW/50MWh Kemsley battery energy storage system (BESS) has gone live.

The lithium-ion battery storage system is directly connected to National Grid’s high-voltage transmission network at the Kemsley substation in Kent in southern England and will provide flexibility services to the grid. 

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Global technology company Wärtsilä supplied the advanced battery energy storage technology for the project, coupled with its GEMS Digital Energy Platform. This software leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable intelligent management of energy systems like the Kemsley battery. 

Energy generator and supplier EDF’s Powershift platform will be used as a route to market services, allowing Pivot Power – part of the French major following its acquisition in 2019 – to maximise revenues across ancillary services including Dynamic Containment and Reactive Power as well as wholesale optimisation and the Balancing Mechanism. 

Pivot Power is planning to deploy 40 similar sites throughout the UK, providing up to 2GW of flexible capacity. Additionally, Kemsley forms part of EDF Renewables’ plans to develop an additional 10GW of battery storage worldwide by 2035. 

Kemsley is the second in Pivot Power’s rollout to go live, following the Cowley battery storage asset in Oxford which went live in June 2021. This asset forms part of the Energy Superhub Oxford, which is looking to showcase rapid electric vehicle charging, battery storage, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies. 

The company is set to replicate elements of this project in its next two sites in Coventry and Sandwell in the West Midlands integrating grid-scale batteries and high volume power infrastructure for vehicle charging. It has partnered with Wärtsilä to develop two additional grid-scale battery storage systems, with a total capacity of 100MW/200MWh.

“The expansion of our battery storage portfolio is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to future-proofing the UK’s energy system and accelerating a net zero future,” said Matt Allen, CEO of Pivot Power.

“Through this collaboration with Wärtsilä and EDF we are creating more of the low carbon infrastructure needed to manage the integration of renewables into the grid and power our lives with clean energy.”

Up to 13GW of new electricity storage needs to be built by 2030 according to National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios, to provide crucial flexibility.

This story first appeared on Current±.

Pivot Power chief technical officer, chief operating officer and co-founder Mikey Clark, Stuart Fenner, head of energy trading at EDF and Mark Cox, head of wholesale at EDF recently appeared in an webinar, ‘How the UK electric grid will handle energy storage and renewables, on the road to net zero’, sponsored by EDF. You can watch the whole session here.

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