Battery Storage Boom Underway In UK
UK’s energy storage systems market is thriving, recently attracting two of Europe’s three biggest utility-scale battery projects.
The growth of renewable energy sources (mostly wind and also solar) has subsequently increased demand for energy storage solutions (ESS) to house the power once generated.
As batteries have the advantage of being able to both release and absorb power quickly, or at least quicker than any other storage solution, ESS is the best option to keep grid frequency stable in UK when used in conjunction with a deep renewable infrastructure.
Most other countries in Europe have more power lines between them, enabling some extra buffer between supply and demand.
“If mass battery storage takes off it will be welcome relief for a government that has forced the closure of carbon-incentive coal power stations just as many nuclear power stations near the end of their life, raising concerns over future energy security.
Large new traditional power stations have struggled to get off the ground due to heavy upfront costs. Britain’s relatively high industrial power prices are already an obstacle for British companies trying to compete with their continental neighbours. The department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) forecasts a total of 3 gigawatts of storage capacity could come on line in Britain by 2030, by when renewables could provide around 50 percent of Britain’s electricity.
Renewable power output has doubled to around 20 percent of the UK total over the past six years.”
One of many projects in pipeline is Vattenfall’s 22 MW project for UK’s National Grid, which by the way consists of BMW i3 batteries.
Two ESS projects are being constructed currently in Cumbria and Kent by energy trader Vitol, through its subsidiary VPI Immingham. Vitol also operates about 5,000 petrol stations globally, and is apparently looking for some business diversification in a related field.
Additionally, British utility Centrica has started a 49 MW project. German energy storage firm Younicos will build the site using more than 100,000 cells.
Reuters also lists a similar sized EDF (EDF Energy Renewables) 49 MW ESS and 49 MW ESS joint project by Dutch utility Eneco and Mitsubishi Corporation.