A two-year energy demonstration project featuring Europe's largest battery energy storage system was launched recently in the UK near London. The companies involved in the anticipate the project will help with more integration of renewable energy into the UK electric grid and be less expensive than methods typically used to strengthen electric networks.
The Smarter Network Storage (SNS) system is a completely automated 6 megawatt/10 megawatt-hour battery substation. The trial project will examine the variety of ways storage technology can benefit the electric grid as well as provide an opportunity to investigate how to make storage more economically practical, according to an article in pv magazine.
The trial was officially kicked off Monday in Leighton Buzzard, located in Bedfordshire near London. The project cost is $29.3 million, with much of that amount from the Low Carbon Network Fund. Additional investment also was provided by UK Power Networks, academic institutions and others.
At the kick off for the project, UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Climate Change Amber Rudd was quoted as saying "Cutting edge smart networks like this will both enhance UK skills and allow us to capture and store new forms of energy generation.
"This project will help us build a smart grid, which reduces the need for further costly investment in grid reinforcement by enabling greater integration of cleaner renewable energy sources into our existing energy network."
The UK also is looking to storage technologies as a solution for dealing with the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources like wind and solar because of its ability to store excess generated electricity and discharge it when it is needed.
The SNS is a collaborative effort between software architects Younicos, Samsung SDI, U.K. Power Networks and S&C Electric, a provider of services and equipment for electric utilities with considerable experience with energy storage.
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