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Major growth predicted for UK energy storage projects

Fri, 06/21/2013 - 18:36 -- Editor

Distributed energy storage (DES) is set to become a major growth sector according to Moixa Technology, an EU pioneer of smart direct current (DC) technologies and Maslow smart storage systems for powering peak demand.

Maintaining electricity supplies during peak demand presents grid operators with several challenges aimed at keeping the lights on in the UK.

In a bid to help maintain grid stability, by matching power generation to energy demand, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is currently reviewing energy storage demonstrator proposals in a £17m ($26.2m) procurement competition. Moixa has submitted a bid to install Maslow storage technology across 750 homes.

Leading the way in UK energy storage systems, Maslow is a DES meter attached storage system developed by Moixa. The technology helps reduce peak demand and lower energy bills by shifting DC loads from lighting, communications and electronic devices, to batteries charged during low tariff times, from local renewable sources such as solar PV, or at times of excess wind supply.

With the continued growth of DC demand, Maslow has the potential to improve the business case and commercial opportunities for deploying grid-scale battery systems, and deliver end user efficiencies and resilience.

Simon Daniel CEO Moixa said: “Just this week, the volatility of solar and wind resources created negative electricity prices and renewable curtailment in parts of Europe. UK distribution network operators face similar issues and considerable infrastructure upgrade costs, to reduce voltage issues caused by rising solar PV adoption, which could otherwise lead to local blackouts or lost renewable revenue.”

He added: “We’ve estimated that by using Maslow DES systems with local solar PV, excess wind supply and low overnight energy prices, energy bills could be reduced by up to 30%, and keep essential consumer devices online if the grid fails.”

Interest in energy storage is growing rapidly and incentives from foreign countries are being offered to develop this technology.

This month saw California set a proposed 2020 procurement target of 1.3 GW of battery storage for network operators. German grants of €25m ($33m) are being used to subsidise battery costs installed alongside solar PV systems.

Speaking at this week’s Distributed Energy Storage event in London, Anthony Price, director of the Electricity Storage Network (the UK’s leading group for energy storage) advocated a UK energy storage target of 2020 MW (2.02 GW) by 2020.

Price said: “Meeting Britain’s power requirements requires energy storage as well as generating capacity. The expected shortfall in reliable generating capacity has been caused, in part, by a lack of commitment to a balanced portfolio of generation, storage and network investment. Adding more electricity storage into the power system will bring real long term benefits."