Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESS) has secured project finance of £28.5 million from Santander, to help build a total of 100MW of grid scale battery storage by the end of 2018. Of this, 49MW of battery storage will be deployed to the National Grid by the end of January. BESS is a developer, operator, and owner of a range of battery storage assets in the UK. The company has five operational sites and a large pipeline of projects currently in development.
The introduction of battery storage has long been seen as a game changer in the move towards a low-carbon economy. Because the supply of renewables such as wind and solar is often not in line ith times of peak demand, battery storage technology enables renewable generation to be stored and released at times of higher demand, thereby reducing reliance on back-up thermal generation. As the proportion of generation from renewables grows, so does the importance of batteries. In the UK, renewables’ share of electricity generation stood at 30% in Q3 of 2017, of which 13% was from wind (both onshore and offshore), and just above 5% was from Solar PV. Onshore wind capacity increased by 21% in Q3 2017, when compared to the same period one year earlier. Offshore wind capacity increased by 20% and Solar PV capacity by 8%, over the same period.
Other examples of recently constructed batteries in the UK are; Vattenfall’s 22MW battery system located at the Pen y Cymoedd windfarm in Wales, VLC Energy’s 40 MW battery park in Kent, and Eon’s 10MW battery storage unit in Sheffield. Some sites have secured contracts as part of the National Grid Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) auction, because they will help to balance the system and maintain the grid’s system frequency at close to 50Hz. In December, the world’s largest lithium-ion battery was officially switched on in South Australia. The 100 MW battery was provided by Tesla as an essential tool for Australia as its renewable generation grows. Battery providers in Australia are now planning even larger projects.