Battery Powered Grid in Orkney is UK First
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
Ofgem’s Low Carbon Network Fund is behind the installation of a battery developed by Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The project is set to use large scale batteries to store renewable energy which in the case of Wind Farms is an intermittent supply dependent on the weather. This large scale battery has been connected to Orkney’s electricity distribution network. The 2MW lithium ion battery has been connected by Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) at their Kirkwall Power Station, one of the back-up generators operated by SSE Generation. The battery has been in use in Japan, and has been running non-stop for the last two years.
Although the battery will not supply any immediate solutions to Orkney’s strained distribution network it will however provide long-term data to show that these batteries could be a cost effective answer to facilitate new low carbon generation connections. Mark Rough of SHEPD is excited about the use of batteries to store electricity, and the trial will prove the feasibility of the project. It is important for the UK to find sources of power storage for the future implementation of low carbon energy generation.
Solar and wind power are becoming ever increasingly important sources of renewable energy. It is hoped that these two forms of power will become suppliers of a major portion of the electricity grid needs.
Earlier this year a wind farm in the USA installed what is thought to be the largest battery storage project to date and researchers are working to develop a new long-life battery which would up the solar and wind power energy production to a point where it becomes a primary source of low carbon energy generation.
SHEPD’s Head of Commercial, Mark Rough, is hoping that this project will provide a means to help balance the variable output from clean renewable forms of energy generation. He further added that this is of great importance as the UK moves towards its goal of a largely decarbonised electricity supply into the future.
He has said that although the project and trials are not an immediate solution to the power constraints in Orkney, it is hoped that the studies will provide concrete long term results in finding a cost effective way to free up capacity on the network. This in turn will allow for low carbon energy connections to be put into use.
Head Office: EATON HOUSE, STATION ROAD, LEEDS, LS20 8XB Company Registration: 4704157 Vat Registration: 817013852