Pivot Power has added 2MW/5MWh of vanadium redox flow (VRFB) technology to operate alongside a 50MW/50MWh lithium-ion battery at The Energy Superhub Oxford project in the UK.
The grid-connected hybrid battery system will provide flexibility to incorporate the renewable energy required to reach the UK’s targets of 50GW of offshore wind and 70GW of solar capacity by the 2030.
The vanadium flow battery is being supplied by Invinity Energy Systems—formerly RedT— with the 50MW/50MWh lithium-ion battery supplied by technology company Wärtsilä.
Energised in late 2021, the 5MWh vanadium flow battery will act as the first line of response, performing much of the ‘heavy lifting’ required from the battery system in a bid to reduce wear on the lithium-ion portion of the system.
The system will be controlled and managed by Wärtsilä’s GEMS Digital Energy Platform and optimised by Habitat Energy’s AI-enabled battery trading system.
Pivot Power— part of EDF Renewables, which is a subsidiary of the French utility EDF Group— plans to deploy up to 40 Energy Superhubs across the UK, with the next two projects being built in Coventry and Sandwell, to the northwest of Birmingham.
Once completed, the network could provide almost 10% of the energy storage the UK is predicted to require by 2035, say Pivot Power.
The VRFB system was built at Invinity’s factory in Bathgate, Scotland.
EV battery charging hub
The grid-scale battery storage system forms part of the £41 million ($61 million) Energy Superhub Oxford project, developed by Pivot Power and partially funded by UK Research and Innovation— a non-departmental public body of the Government— under the ‘Prospering from the Energy Revolution’ programme.
The project integrates energy storage, EV charging, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies as a step towards Oxford achieving net zero by 2040 and creating a blueprint for other towns and cities to cut carbon and improve air quality.
Oxford City Council, Pivot Power, Fastned, Tesla Superchargers and Wenea, officially opened the Superhub on 5 July to mark the completion of the project.
The EV charging hub will initially offer fast and ultra-rapid charging for 42 vehicles simultaneously at Oxford’s Redbridge Park and Ride.
With 10MW of installed capacity supplied direct from National Grid on site, the hub will be able to scale up with EV adoption to provide charging for 400 vehicles helping to support the estimated 36 million EVs expected on UK roads by 2040.
Larry Zulch, CEO at Invinity, said: “Energy Superhub Oxford illustrates the vital role energy storage in general and flow batteries in particular will play in the UK’s shift to renewable energy.
“To reach net zero targets, the UK is forecast to require up to 24,000 MW of long-duration energy storage of multiple types and configurations.
“This project demonstrates that flow batteries coupled with lithium-ion battery storage create a high performance system that benefits from the unique characteristics of each technology.”
The project is part of a nationwide network of Energy Superhubs developed by Pivot Power, which combine transmission-connected batteries and power infrastructure for EV charging to enable more renewables and accelerate the decarbonisation of transport.
European EV rapid charging company Fastned has initially installed ten charging bays at the Superhub with 300kW of power available.
EV charging services provider Wenea has deployed twenty 7-2 kW charging bays.
A further twelve 250kW Tesla Superchargers will be available for Tesla owners.