Battery-based storage projects championed by National Grid

At least 453MW of new storage projects, largely battery-based, are planned or are in development, in addition to the 200MW of “enhanced frequency response” just contracted by the National Grid.

The Renewable Energy Association (REA)’s second edition of the report Energy Storage in the UK – An Overview New reveals the extent of energy storage deployment and the industry’s future growth in the UK. There are 35 standalone grid-connected projects operating as of August 2016, spanning technologies from lithium-ion batteries (such as those used in mobile phones or electric vehicles) to pumped hydro systems (where water is stored in a reservoir and released through turbines when electricity demand peaks).

At least 1,500 smaller, residential-scale projects are also recorded. The cumulative electricity storage capacity operating in the UK as of August 2016 is 3.23GW. At least 453 MW of energy storage capacity has been announced as under construction or being commissioned, in addition to the 200 MW of “enhanced frequency response” storage that was contracted by the National Grid in September.

Analysts who work in association with the industry point to the 1.2GW of extra capacity that bid into the Enhanced Frequency Response auction but did not win a contact as a clear indication that the storage industry has matured quickly and is ready to deliver. These extra projects will have demonstrated that they are ready to deploy and will have secured planning permission and grid connection capacity.

Anecdotal reports also indicate that there has now been double-digit GW worth of applications for storage to the distribution network, but this will not all be built out and may not have planning and grid permission. To unlock this potential market improvements to the policy framework are required, which the REA highlight in their report.

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