Virtual Power Plant UK
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Nordic energy company Statkraft is taking its virtual power plant concept in the UK to the next level with a deal with battery storage company Statera Energy.

Together the companies plan to deliver 1 GW of energy storage and utility scale, flexible gas-powered generation.

Statkraft unveiled the virtual power plant in March which operates with the company's 3.8 GW UK renewable generation portfolio. Now Statera’s contribution to the project is two-fold: it will provide one of the UK’s largest battery facilities to store renewable energy at times of excess production; and it will deliver efficient, flexible reciprocating gas engines to generate electricity at short notice to respond to times of under-production or peak demand.

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Statera, which is backed by global investment manager InfraRed Capital Partners, will continue to develop, build, own and operate its flexible gas generation and energy storage portfolio throughout the partnership with Statkraft. As new assets come online, they will be integrated into Statkraft’s virtual power plant and trading platform, and Statkraft will provide market optimisation, trading and risk management services to the assets.

Duncan Dale, head of Statkraft’s UK markets business, said: “Statkraft recognises the importance of flexible power generation for the provision of secure energy supply in the years to come until multi-day mass energy storage becomes economically viable. It is vital that any new generation capacity is highly efficient and ultra-flexible, like Statera’s.”

He said Statkraft had partnered with Statera “because of their project development approach and relentless optimisation of the project design and operations. Everything about these projects suggests that new efficiencies can be made, which means lower carbon emissions and lower costs to the consumer. The energy market and the UK’s transition to a low carbon future should benefit greatly from unlocking this potential.”

Statera’s managing director of energy Tom Vernon said the company wanted to “do our part to support security of supply and facilitate the low carbon transition enabling a more renewable future”.

“We have partnered with Statkraft because of its industry-leading trading capabilities and innovative approach to the future energy market. The UK generation mix and electricity market design will continue to evolve rapidly in the coming years, becoming increasingly volatile and challenging to trade. Statkraft will optimise the increasing dependence that its renewable portfolio has on flexible generation and storage, to help balance the electricity system using Statera’s assets for the next 15 years.”

In 2016, Statera commissioned a 50 MW flexible gas-fired power generation plant and has since secured consents for a further 200 MW of projects which are ready for construction. It is also developing a large pipeline of transmission and distribution connected projects at strategic locations in the UK.

This story first appeared on our sister-site, Power Engineering International.