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UKPN starts 6MW Leighton Buzzard energy storage trial

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 15:39 -- Laura Varriale
Woodman Close substation in Leighton Buzzard

Power distributor UK Power Networks (UKPN) has commenced its two-year energy storage trial in Bedfordshire, UK.

The 6MW/10MWh lithium-ion battery at the Woodman Close substation in Leighton Buzzard is designed to provide frequency regulation and shifting as well as stabilising the grid more effectively than traditional thermal generators.

"While developing energy storage will not stop the risk of occasional power cuts in local areas, because they can be caused by a variety of reasons, it will help us manage power flows efficiently at times of peak usage," said UKPN director of asset management Barry Hatton.

"The financial benefits that could be realised from this could be about £600m if this was replicated across the UK by 2040,” he added. According to UKPN, the system could be installed at 700 sites across the UK.

S&C Electric Europe, Samsung SDI and Younicos worked together to build the battery. Samsung SDI supplied the battery while German renewables company Younicos designed the battery storage management system and S&C Electric Europe engineered the energy storage system for the biggest battery storage project in Europe.

UKPN recently contracted independent supplier SmartestEnergy to take commercial role over the smart grid and explore shared services.

The project was funded by £13.2m ($20.7m) from the Low Carbon Networks Fund, £4m ($6.2m) from UKPN and £1.2m ($1.8m) from other businesses and academic institutions.