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Thursday, 12 November 2020 16:14

UK's largest battery balancing renewables for National Grid goes live

A mammoth c.50MW / 75MWh battery, located in Thurcroft, South Yorkshire, has gone live generating revenue for the site while helping the National Grid balance supply and demand. It is a flagship project showing how the renewable energy will be used and managed. As the country transitions towards a carbon neutral energy supply, batteries will play a vital role in managing energy supplies and ensuring the lights can be kept on. 

The UK now boasts around 1GW installed battery storage capacity and the market needs further growth to facilitate a net zero energy system.

Edinburgh based flexible energy specialist Flexitricity is optimising the Gresham House battery at Thurcroft.

Thurcroft battery storage site2The asset initially went live in the Balancing Mechanism (BM) Reserve from Storage Trial. The BM is a key tool National Grid ESO uses to balance supply and demand on the electricity system in real time. Through the BM, providers can offer to increase or decrease their generation or demand to help balance the system. Flexitricity monitors the BM round the clock from its 24/7 control room, and remotely alters the charge and discharge profile of the Thurcroft battery.

Andy Lowe, Director at Flexitricity, said: "Flexibility is a hugely important part of decarbonising the grid and batteries are an excellent source of flexibility. Investors are getting comfortable with the business case for energy storage and it's great this year to be seeing a number of large batteries coming onto the system, providing more of the rapid response flexibility National Grid ESO needs to maintain system stability.

"In today's markets, maximising value for battery assets requires a huge amount of expertise and agility. We're delighted that Gresham House has entrusted us to optimize a number of their sites, including the flagship Thurcroft battery."

Ben Guest, Managing Director at Gresham House, said: "We have plans to grow our energy storage portfolio, aiming for over 350MW in operational assets by the end of 2020. Great Britain needs at least 10GW in the next few years to enable the orderly transition to a renewables-led electricity market.

"In turn, we aim to contribute meaningfully to the UK's 2050 net zero ambitions, while achieving strong returns for our investors.

"We divide our storage projects between a range of optimisation partners and decided to entrust Flexitricity with Thurcroft having worked with them successfully on a previous project."