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UK Power Networks is investigating using energy storage to add flexibility to the power supply network. Increasing demand, and more (intermittent) renewable energy sources are making it more demanding to match supply and demand.
Project name: Smarter Network Storage
Funding mechanism: LCNF Tier 2
Funding amount: LCNF: £13.2m
UK Power Networks and partners: £5.5m
Start date: January 2013
End date: December 2016
Smarter Network Storage (SNS) is:
SNS is the first storage solution of its kind to be commissioned in the UK and the first large-scale battery to support National Grid.
At the UK Power Networks substation in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, local electricity demand was higher than what the substation could provide
Normally a new transformer would have been purchased and installed, offering much more capacity than the substation was predicted to need.
A 6MW/10MWh storage solution comprising approximately 50,000 lithium-ion batteries was installed. During average electricity demand times, this is enough to power about 1,100 UK homes for a whole day or over 27,000 homes for one hour.
This technology has enabled UK Power Networks to manage electricity demand at peak times without building excess capacity. By charging during the day, the Big Battery stores electricity that can then be dispatched in the evening when residential customers in the town need it.
Storage offers three types of benefits:
The SNS project has delivered many benefits ranging from:
The project has shed light on the regulatory framework challenges brought by an asset that is not classified as an asset. Finally, the SNS project has provided evidence on the potential of grid-scale storage and the revenues associated with it. These results will be useful for the industry and policy makers to understand, as the uptake of storage increases.
Download the full case study below for more detail
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