National Grid
Setting Sun seen through a row of electricity pylons

National Grid and renewable energy company RES have launched Britain’s first sub-second frequency response service using battery storage.[quote] According to National Grid’s website, system frequency is a continuously changing variable that is determined and controlled by the second-by-second (real time) balance between system demand and total generation.

If demand is greater than generation, the frequency falls while if generation is greater than demand, the frequency rises.

The British multinational electricity and gas utility company and RES have signed a four year contract that will see RES provide 20MW of frequency response from Battery storage.

A company release states that the new service will assist National Grid in performing its system balancing role.

Battery storage aids frequency response

The company release adds that services delivered by RES’ battery storage systems will provide cost effective frequency response to the grid within effective frequency response to the grid within one.

The battery storage systems are expected to be fully operational within 18 months.

Adam Sims, Senior Account Manager at National Grid, said: “This is the first time that battery storage will be used to provide such fast-acting frequency response service to the National Transmission Network in Great Britain.

“This innovative technology will enable us to respond to frequency issues in under a second, helping to maintain the integrity of the grid. This service and the forthcoming Enhanced Frequency Response service will support the network as we transition to a generation mix with greater levels of low cost renewable energy.”

National Grid notes that as the price of battery energy storage has fallen in line with gigawatt scale deployment in the stationary energy storage and electric vehicle fields, such services are now reducing electricity costs for consumers across global markets.

Renewable Energy Systems (RES) have already commissioned six similar projects in North America.

John Prendergast, Energy Storage Manager at RES, concluded: “Energy storage can play a large role in supporting the UK’s transition to a secure, low carbon, low cost energy system. We believe that this contract will play an important role in demonstrating this and will encourage policy makers and regulators to accelerate the removal of barriers to wider deployment of energy storage in the UK.”


  1. Who is making a mountain out of this pimple? National Grid probably needs 1000MW or more of spinning reserve on line continuously in case one or two big machines trip for some reason. 20MW must be a small feasibility test, and won’t save any money any time soon?