S&C Electric Europe, Samsung SDI and Younicos have signed a joint agreement to deploy Europe’s largest intelligent network storage project, onto a UK Power Networks substation, saving over $9 million on traditional network reinforcement methods. By providing frequency regulation as well as load shifting, the project will also stabilize the grid much more effectively than traditional thermal generators, providing more space on the grid for clean, but intermittent renewable energies.
The fully automated 6MW/10MWh Smarter Network Storage (SNS) battery technology project will be installed at Leighton Buzzard primary substation, in order to assess the role of energy storage in cost effectively delivering the UK’s Carbon Plan. The technology can provide a range of benefits to the wider electricity system, including absorbing energy, then releasing it to meet demand, to help support capacity constraints and to balance the influx of intermittent and inflexible low carbon technologies onto the grid.
The Smarter Network Storage (SNS) project aims to carry out a range of technical and commercial innovation to facilitate the more efficient and economic adoption of storage. By contrast to other electrical storage projects, it will demonstrate storage across multiple parts of the electricity system, outside the boundaries of the distribution network. By demonstrating this multipurpose application of 6MW/10MWh of energy storage at Leighton Buzzard primary substation, the project will explore the capabilities and value in alternative revenue streams for storage, whilst also deferring expensive conventional reinforcement measures, such as transformers, cable and overhead lines.
The project was awarded funding of $20 million by Ofgem, under The Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund scheme in December 2012 and will last four years, from January 2013 to December 2016.
The project will generate new knowledge and learning on the challenges of integrating large-scale storage, and provide the industry with a greater understanding and a detailed assessment of the business case and full economics of energy storage.
S&C Electric Europe is the lead supplier to the project, being led by UK Power Networks, drawing on many years of energy storage experience from outside the UK.
Andrew Jones, Managing Director, S&C Electric Europe, said:
“The major grid challenges from the UK’s decarbonization can be met through energy storage’s inherent ability to reinforce the network. But currently there are limited large-scale energy storage projects here, leaving a confidence gap. This practical demonstration promises to show the strengths and limitations of storage and unlock its potential as a key technology for the transition to low carbon energy.”
Nick Heyward, Commercial Manager, at UK Power Networks, said:
UK Power Networks are pleased to be working with S&C Electric Europe, Samsung SDI and Younicos on the Smarter Network Storage project which is set to provide important learning around the true economics of large-scale energy storage. We see storage as an important solution to enable future, smarter networks and this practical demonstration will help us to understand how storage can be more efficiently and cost-effectively deployed for the benefit of our customers.”
Y.C. Yoon, EVP and Head of Energy Solutions, at Samsung SDI, said:
“Samsung’s strong commitment to the deployment of technologies for energy storage made us the ideal partner to work alongside S&C Electric Europe and UK Power Networks on this development. We are committed to lead the uptake of energy storage not only in the UK but also all around the world.”
Clemens Triebel, founder and speaker of the board of Younicos, said:
“If we are serious about transitioning to a renewables-based energy economy, adding more, and intelligent, storage to the grid quickly is key. That’s why we’re proud to contribute to this ground-breaking project’s success through our intelligent control algorithms and experience in frequency regulation and battery management. We’re eager to show how industrially available batteries can be integrated into existing grids economically today, and help effectively balance intermittent renewable generation, allowing us to switch off CO2-intensive thermal plants when they aren’t needed.”
Research from Imperial College, identifies savings from energy storage of approx. $4.5 billion a year by the 2020s, based on the deployment of 2GW of energy storage. The value increases significantly with increasing proportions of renewable generation, with savings of $15 billion a year identified towards 2050, based on 25GW of capacity.