In a claimed UK first, energy supplier EON has completed the installation of a 10MW energy storage system that will be used to help smooth the flow of power to and from the grid.
The 10 megawatt (MW) Lithium-Ion battery, which is housed in four 40ft long shipping containers, has the same power as roughly 100 family cars and holds the same amount of energy as 500,000 mobile phone batteries. It has been Installed at a 30MW renewable energy plant that converts recycled waste wood into electricity and produces power for around 40,000 homes.
The battery was developed in response to a tender from National Grid to deliver technologies able to respond in less than one second at times of either an over or under supply of energy to the grid. It is expected to be the first of a fleet of similar systems that will help the grid deal more effectively with multiple, often Intermittent, sources of energy.
Power supply and demand on the UK grid have to be matched closely in real-time to maintain a safe frequency so household electrical appliances function properly.
Balancing the grid is becoming more challenging because the growing range of renewable generation sources make the electricity system less stable and more prone to changes in frequency.
Battery systems, such as the one installed in Sheffield, work by immediately discharging power to the network when supply drops or when demand increases or by taking power off the network If supply is greater than demand.
As well as helping to make more efficient use of renewable energy sources, the batteries will also be able to provide extra power to the network at times of peak demand as part of the Capacity Market.
Commenting on the installation, Leon Walker, Commercial Development Manager at National Grid, said: “Using battery storage is a significant development for managing the national grid. It’s an ultra-fast way of keeping electricity supply and demand balanced. Over four years we estimate that this service will save the system operator around £200m. This is good news for consumers who benefit from our cost efficiencies, and paves the way for battery technology to establish itself as an important component of our energy system.”
The Government has unveiled its highly-anticipated Clean Growth Strategy, detailing how multi-billion pound investments into low-carbon innovations and household energy-efficiency will push the UK towards its future carbon budgets. The strategy captures 50 new measures to drive economic growth across the core pillars of the UK economy.
The Government has unveiled how more than £2.5bn will be spent on low-carbon innovation between 2015 and 2021 to boost job growth and foster new technologies in low-carbon businesses and supply chains. This includes existing Government spending of up to £505m from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Energy Innovation Programme.
Up to £10m will be provided for low-carbon heat innovations for domestic and commercial building use, while around £10m will be provided for measures that improve the energy efficiency of these buildings.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has been brought back into the fray two years after the Government faced criticism for closing the £1bn competition fund. At the time, critics were concerned the decision could cost the UK an additional £30bn to meet its 2050 carbon targets. Up to £20m will be spent on a CCS demonstration programme.
Up to £20m will be funnelled into viability schemes for industries to switch to low-carbon fuels as the UK forges ahead with its coal plant phase out by 2025. A similar investment will be made to support early stage funding of clean technologies. An extra £14m will be added to the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund to boost competitiveness amongst emerging energy technologies.
The Strategy also includes a “package of measures” to support business to improve energy productivity by at least 20% by 2030. This will lead to the establishment of an Industrial Energy Efficiency scheme to help large companies cut energy use and bills.
As revealed by the climate change minister, the Government will develop an “ambitious” Sector Deal for offshore wind, which could add an extra 10GW of new capacity by the 2020’s.
While offshore wind, energy-from-waste, marine and biomass will all receive support in the next auction in 2019, established technologies such as onshore wind and solar look set to miss out again. Ministers would refer to last month’s launch of a subsidy-free solar farm at Clayhill as proof that the technology can operate successfully without Government intervention.
Engineering group Redhall has issued a profit warning after it experienced “unforeseen delays” on nuclear and infrastructure projects.
The Wakefield-based group had told the stock market that some work, most significantly at nuclear plant Hinkley Point C which was due to start in the final quarter of the year, has now been deferred into its 2018 financial year. Redhall said the timing of the delays, to this and other projects, are “disappointing” and will mean that the group’s results for the year to September 2017 will be “materially below expectations”.
It said: “The directors’ full year expectations for the group were based around a strong second half year, driven principally by an increase in manufacturing work in Booth Industries following a period of significant engineering input and the commencement of projects for Hinkley Point C in Jordan Manufacturing.
“Whilst projects for high integrity engineered products can be won on attractive
margins, they can also be subject to external client delays. The directors build timing contingencies into their project planning to allow for this but even so the group has experienced unforeseen delays on certain nuclear and infrastructure projects which has led to work being deferred into the year ending 30 September 2018.”
The University of Hull is to host an offshore wind energy “centre of excellence”. The £2m centre is part of a venture between the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the university.
The five-year partnership will see a series of research and innovation projects developed to improve the way that offshore wind farms are operated and maintained, building on the region’s energy heritage, location and experience of servicing UK offshore wind farms.
Chris Hill, ORE Catapult’s operational performance director, said: “Operations and maintenance activities make up almost a quarter of the lifetime costs of an offshore wind farm, and provide a huge opportunity for UK companies to supply their products and services. The East Coast, and particularly the Humber Estuary, has extensive experience of servicing offshore wind farms and that experience is invaluable as we look to build expertise and a local supply chain, establishing the region as a real centre of excellence that can service UK offshore wind farms as well exporting to the fast growing international market.”