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Younicos to design 49MW Centrica battery as technology ‘emerges from demonstrator’ projects

Younicos' experience in utility-scale storage projects in the UK extends to the 6MW Leighton Buzzard demonstrator (pictured) it participated in. Image: RES.
Battery storage specialist Younicos has been selected by Centrica to design the 49MW battery storage project that was last week awarded a 15-year Capacity Market contract.

The battery, to be built on the site of a former coal-fired power station in Roosecote, Cumbria, is to be owned and operated by Centrica, but the energy giant has selected Younicos to design the system, which is to be completed by winter 2018.

The sophisticated, lithium-ion based system will be capable of responding to fluctuations in energy demand in less than a second. It will be aided by software designed and developed by Younicos for batteries used in such applications.

Speaking to Energy Storage News, Younicos spokesman Philip Hiersemenzel said the system will be “one of the most sophisticated” batteries in the world when it is complete.

"It really underscores the versatility of what batteries can do and what they can do for the grid, for secure energy supplies and also for the people that operate them,” he said.

The Roosecote project is to use architecture developed off the back of Younicos’ participation in both Europe’s first commercial battery project in Schewin, Germany, and the software and controls it provided for UK Power Networks’ 6MW demonstrator project in Leighton Buzzard.

Hiersemenzel is, however, of the belief that the UK market is now emerging from the stage at which utility-scale batteries are considered demonstration projects, with the recent EFR and Capacity Market tender results providing ample evidence of confidence in the technology.

"I think the technology is really moving from being a demonstrator and into the market place. That's become clear. We see the UK rapidly moving towards the commercialisation of batteries. It's no longer a question as to whether they're viable, it's how to best deploy them,” he said.

At 49MW the battery stands to be the largest in the UK and among the largest in the world. This, Hiersemenzel said, would present its own challenges, but he is confident that Younicos has garnered the experience and requisite knowledge to see the project through, adding: “It reflects what we've learned over the years and what the market needs in terms of technical requirements and how best to handle the batteries.”

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