Client: UK Power Networks
Location: Leighton Buzzard, Central Bedfordshire, UK
Battery storage to push British government's carbon reduction strategy
Imperial College, a public research university in London, estimates that the installation of 2 gigawatts (GW) of battery storage by the 2020's could save £3 billion annually.
Electricity generation from renewable resources can fluctuate, and the savings rise significantly – reaching £10 billion annually – with 25 GW of installed renewable energy capacity.
Distribution system operator UK Power Networks acted on this, and undertook Europe’s largest storage demonstration project. Funded in part by the “Low Carbon Networks Fund,” the aim of the “Smarter Network Storage” (SNS) project is to determine how storage technology can be used in support of cost efficient implementation of the British government’s carbon reduction strategy (UK Carbon Plan)
Project fact file
A fully automated 6 MW / 10 MWh battery power plant
Working with our partners S&C Electric and Samsung SDI, we installed a fully automated 6 MW / 10 MWh battery power plant at the Leighton Buzzard substation, northwest of London. The multi-purpose SNS application explores the capabilities and value in generating alternative revenue streams for storage.
The battery system is mainly used for supporting security of supply; this involves peak shaving to keep the overhead lines feeding the site within rated limits. At other times, it is used to provide additional services, including frequency response, which it can do more effectively than conventional thermal power plants.
Proving the power of battery storage to change the future
Thanks to our sophisticated software platform, we were able to prove the commercial viability of combining, or “stacking,” various applications. So, in addition to generating income streams, over its lifetime SNS will generate over GBP 6 million in savings by avoiding various grid expansion activities that would otherwise be necessary, such as additional transformers, underground cables or power lines.
In addition to providing the capabilities that had originally been specified, we also successfully adapted our software to changing customer and market demands as the project evolved. This flexibility enabled us to adapt the system’s architecture to provide increased services after successful completion of the project’s initial four-year trial period.
Project Director , UK Power Networks