UK battery storage and EV fleet specialist Zenobē said its 100MW/107MWh battery in Capenhurst, Chester, has gone live and is delivering what it claims is “the world’s first commercial reactive power services of its kind”.
It will help manage network capacity, so maximising existing Scottish wind flows into the Merseyside region of England. It is delivering services previously only provided by fossil fuel plants, some of which have closed in recent years.
The battery is the largest to be directly connected to the transmission network in Europe, connecting at 275,000 V.
In December 2022, National Grid paid £82million ($100 million) to wind farm operators to turn their turbines off to stop the energy system from becoming overwhelmed, said Zenobē. Over the first 15 years of operation, the lithium-ion battery at Capenhurst will save around £58 million ($71 million) on curtailment costs, it said.
It added the Capenhurst battery was commissioned in direct response to National Grid wanting to find a cost-effective solution to the high-voltage issues seen in the Mersey region. To keep voltage levels on the transmission network at safe limits, it is necessary to find methods to absorb or inject reactive power, the company said.