In the UK, Toshiba Corporation has won a contract to supply a lithium-titanate battery for the country’s first 2MW scale energy storage system (ESS) as part of a project to test grid management solutions led by the University of Sheffield, the company announced this week.

Toshiba’s 1MWh SCiB battery will be installed in a primary substation in central England in September 2014 and connected to the 11kV grid.

When the project starts operation in November 2014, it will allow testing at realistic levels, and allow assessment of both the technical and economic potential of ESS in the grid.

Results will be gathered by the Grid Connected Energy Storage Research Demonstrator project, led by the University of Sheffield, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council with support from both industrial and academic partners.

Energy storage systems

Toshiba’s SCiB lithium-titanate based secondary battery can withstand more than 10,000 charge-discharge cycles, the company claims.

Toshiba is promoting battery-based ESS globally as a support for stable power networks, supplying several projects in Japan and around the world, and has received orders for commercial systems in Italy and Japan, where it has supplied batteries for a 40MW ESS, among the world’s largest.

Large-scale ESS are increasingly seen as a solution in managing electricity supply.

Installed in wind and photovoltaic generation systems, ESS can help to overcome intermittent output and frequency fluctuations, as well as performing peak power buffering, and when connected to the grid they can support grid stability and reinforcement.

National project funding

The Grid Connected Energy Storage Research Demonstrator project was part of £45.6 million awarded to universities in 2013 for grid-scale energy storage research in the UK.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said: “For Britain to get ahead in the global race we have to back emerging technologies and ensure our universities have the latest equipment.

“This capital investment will help scientists make new discoveries and take their research through to commercial success. It will drive growth and support the government’s industrial strategy.”

The other two technologies funded were robotics and autonomous systems, and advanced materials.

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