Enel has started operations at the Tynemouth stand-alone battery energy storage system (BESS) located in the metropolitan borough of North Tyneside, near Newcastle, in the UK.
The 25 MW/12.5 MWh Tynemouth project, which is the Enel Group’s first utility-scale, stand-alone battery energy storage system is supported by a four-year contract with British System Operator National Grid to provide grid-balancing services.
Enel acquired the project from the energy developer and operator Element Power in May last year, and invested approximately 20 million euros in the overall project, including project construction.
“The commissioning of Tynemouth is an important milestone for Enel since it is the Group’s first utility-scale, stand-alone battery energy storage system, showing the potential of this promising solution in addressing the challenges of the energy transition,” said Enrico Viale, Enel’s head of global thermal generation.
“Battery energy storage systems provide a solution for flexible and fast services to ensure the stability of electricity power systems, while, when coupled to existing power plants, they allow for an optimisation of performance and an increase in plant flexibility. The utility-scale BESS market shows a great potential for growth, which is why Enel is developing a portfolio of such projects in some of the sector’s most promising countries worldwide.”
Tynemouth is providing grid-balancing services under a four-year Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) contract with National Grid, awarded to the project in National Grid’s 2016 EFR tender. After these four years, the project will participate in ancillary services and capacity market tenders.
Enel acquired the project last year by purchasing 100% of the shares in Tynemouth Energy Storage Limited from the European-based energy developer and operator Element Power. UK-based energy company RES acted as EPC contractor for the project and will support Enel in the operation and maintenance of Tynemouth BESS under a four-year contract.
“This is fantastic news for North Tyneside and I am delighted to have been invited to the opening of Enel’s new site. This investment shows the international appeal that North Tyneside’s economy has and further strengthens our reputation as a great place to do business. I’d like to say a huge welcome to everyone at Enel and I look forward to seeing the benefits this new facility will bring to our power system and our borough as a whole,” said North Tyneside’s elected mayor, Norma Redfearn, CBE, who inaugurated the facility alongside representatives from Enel, National Grid, RES and Element Power.
The Tynemouth BESS project, which is remotely managed from Enel’s Global Thermal Generation monitoring room in Italy, represents an opportunity for Enel to gain experience and strategic knowledge in building and operating such projects as well as an attractive investment opportunity with a short time to market.