Partnership to accelerate UK’s drive to net-zero with two massive batteries

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A partnership between Pivot Power, a subsidiary of EDF Renewables, and technology company Wartsila aims to speed up the UK’s transition to net-zero through the use of energy storage systems to address the fluctuating nature of renewable energy resources.

The two companies say they will be developing two new grid-scale battery storage systems in Coventry and Sandwell in the West Midlands. The two projects combined will have a capacity of 100MW/200MWh, enough to power 200,000 households for two hours.

Construction of the battery storage systems is due to commence at Sandwell in Q4 2021 and at Coventry in Q1 2022. The two projects are expected to play a key role in helping the West Midlands meet its target to be zero carbon by 2041 by helping accelerate the phase-out of coal and gas-fired power stations.

Wartsila will provide its battery technology GEMS Digital Energy Platform for real-time operation of the battery storage facilities in response to changing energy generation and demand on the main grid.

The two projects are part of the Energy Superhubs programme, in which Pivot Power is developing a 2GW battery storage system that is integrated with the energy transmission network operated by the National Grid. The aim is to ensure more renewable energy capacity is integrated into the main grid and to power electric vehicles.

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The model is in line with EDF Renewables’ ambition to become a key player in Europe’s e-mobility segment by 2023 and to develop an additional 10GW of battery storage globally by 2035. Once complete, the new Energy Superhubs will form part of a portfolio of Britain’s most powerful EV charging sites, according to Pivot Power.

The company’s first project under the programme – Energy Superhub Oxford – is nearing completion and will provide a blueprint for towns and cities across the UK to cut carbon and improve air quality.

Interview with Matt Allen, Pivot Power

Enlit Europe talked to Matt Allen, CEO of Pivot Power, about the significance of this key milestone in the project and his plans for up to 40 similar sites throughout the country.

The on-demand video is available here.

It is backed by funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and integrates rapid EV charging, battery storage, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies to save 10,000 tonnes of CO2 every year once opened. This is the equivalent to taking over 2,000 cars off the road. 

Pivot Power predicts that its network could provide almost 10% of the battery storage required by the UK to achieve its 2050 net-zero goals and will help to create a smarter, more flexible grid that could save up to £40 billion ($54.8 million).

Andy Tang, Vice President, Energy Storage & Optimisation, Wärtsilä, said: “The UK recently set a bold ambition to slash carbon emissions by 78% by 2035 and flexibility is the key to achieving 100% renewables and decarbonising the economy.”