Successful trial of UK’s largest battery storage

The two-year trial of the largest grid-scale battery in the UK has been successful. The £18.4 million “big battery” has proved it can potentially transform the energy grid and play […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

The two-year trial of the largest grid-scale battery in the UK has been successful.

The £18.4 million “big battery” has proved it can potentially transform the energy grid and play a major role in the transition towards a low carbon economy, according to UK Power Networks (UKPN).

The 6MW to 10MW Smarter Network Storage (SNS) facility located in Leighton Buzzard stores energy when demand is low and releases it at peak times.

It has the capacity to power around 6,000 homes for an hour and a half at peak times or roughly 1,100 homes for a whole day, or even 27,000 homes for a full hour when demand is lower.

UKPN claims this is the first grid-scale battery storage project in the country and the only one of its kind currently operating on the energy network.

Suleman Alli, Director of Safety, Strategy and Support Services at UKPN said: “As we move towards a low carbon, decentralised, digital energy system, all eyes are on the role of storage – especially batteries – in Britain’s electricity network. We believe that grid-scale storage has a huge role to play in addressing the challenges the industry faces.

“The trial has drawn attention to the fact that the UK’s regulatory framework needs to evolve to help exploit its full potential. For example, energy storage currently incurs a double carbon levy – both when it stores energy and when it releases it.”