Major U.K. energy storage project gets go ahead


Nick Heyward,
Commercial Manager,
UK Power Networks
London, England — (METERING.COM) — July 31, 2013 – Plans for what is said to be the largest energy storage battery trial in Europe have been given the go ahead at Leighton Buzzard in the U.K.

UK Power Networks, which distributes electricity in the east of England, London and the south east, last month received consents to build the energy storage facility at a 33 kV/11 kV primary substation site in the town.

The project will install a 6 MW/10 MWh “big battery” at the substation by the end of 2014. This will be deployed under a joint agreement by S&C Electric Europe, Samsung SDI and Younicos.

The project aims to investigate some of the key challenges of storage on distribution networks in order to help decrease the future costs of energy storage and increase network investment efficiency. It will involve a range of commercial and technical trials to explore and improve the economics of electrical energy storage, and will include the development of a smart storage optimization and control system.

“We see storage as an important solution to enable future, smarter networks and this practical demonstration will help us to understand how storage can be more efficiently and cost-effectively deployed for the benefit of our customers.” said Nick Heyward, Commercial Manager, at UK Power Networks.

This Smart Networks Storage (SNS) project, which is due to run to the end of 2016, was awarded £13.2 million of funding from the regulator, Ofgem, through the Low Carbon Network Fund in November 2012. The total project cost is £18.7 million.

UK Power Networks has estimated that once proven successful, replication of the method across Britain could conservatively provide savings of over £0.7 billion by 2040 compared to business-as-usual approaches.