AN innovative new energy storage facility is ready for business thanks to the completion of an 18-month construction project.
Centrica's battery, built on the site of the former gas-fired Roosecote power station in Rampside Road, is one of the largest battery storage facilities in Europe.
The 49 megawatt battery is able to come online in less than a second to meet fluctuations in demand.
It is able to hold enough power to provide energy for around 50,000 homes.
The battery keeps the power network stable by either absorbing power from or supplying power to the grid.
It is part of Centrica’s £180m investment into flexible power which also includes a refurbishment of King’s Lynn power station, plus two fast response gas-fired power stations which opened earlier this year.
Originally home to a coal-fired power station that was later replaced by the country’s first combined cycle gas turbine, the site has been at the forefront of new energy technology for over 60 years.
The coal power station opened on June 2 in 1955 and used about 2,000 tons of coal a week.
In 1991 Roosecote was given a new lease of life by Lakeland Power in a £120m project to generate electricity with gas as the fuel. It could produce 80 per cent more fuel than the coal-fired plant.
During its operational years, Roosecote had the capacity to power around 300,000 homes per year.
Back in 2011, Centrica, which also owns the neighbouring gas terminals under its subsidiary Spirit Energy, announced plans to build an 80MW biomass power station on the site.
The plans were met with fierce opposition from members of the public who were concerned about potential health impacts and Centrica pulled the plug on the plans in 2012.
Roosecote power station was then mothballed and in 2015, the plant's iconic chimney stack was demolished in a dramatic controlled explosion.
Mark Futyan, Distributed Power Systems Director at Centrica Business Solutions said: “The Roosecote site is truly unique, having been home to the latest technology of its time and is an exemplar of the transition we’ve made from dirty coal to cleaner, more flexible power. Christmas has indeed come early for our team!”
Construction took around 18 months to complete, having started in March 2017.
The battery will now be operated remotely from Centrica’s Energy Centre in Peterborough.
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