RES to supply battery storage solutions to the UK grid

Energy storage and smart grids have been touted as the future for national energy infrastructures, and the U.K. is now set to test out Renewable Energy Systems’ (RES) new energy storage systems to provide frequency response. RES has been working with the National Grid to create the systems, which are expected to be fully operational in 18 months.

The battery energy storage systems developed by RES can provide a frequency response service in less than a second, making it the first in the country to have a sub-second timescale. The service is aimed at balancing the grid when energy is in high demand, and RES has said that it will be fully operational within 18 months.

“This is the first time that battery storage will be used to provide such fast-acting frequency response service to the National Transmission Network in Great Britain,” said Adam Sims, Senior Account Manager at National Grid. “This innovative technology will enable us to respond to frequency issues in under a second, helping to maintain the integrity of the grid.”

RES has been working with the National Grid for the last two years to develop the systems, and has now signed a four year contract to provide 20 MW of frequency response from its battery storage systems.

The potential role of energy storage in the U.K.

Energy industry eyes will be on the progress of this project, as energy storage, and the benefits that it could bring to a carbon-free economy, becomes a hot topic in the U.K. Earlier this year, the U.K.’s National Infrastructure Commission released a report that argued the U.K. could save GBP 8 billion (US$11.7 billion) by adopting a smarter energy policy, which includes electricity storage and demand flexibility.

“Energy storage can play a large role in supporting the U.K.’s transition to a secure, low carbon, low cost energy system,” said John Prendergast, Energy Storage Manager at RES. “We believe that this contract will play an important role in demonstrating this and will encourage policy makers and regulators to accelerate the removal of barriers to wider deployment of energy storage in the U.K.”

“This service and the forthcoming Enhanced Frequency Response service will support the network as we transition to a generation mix with greater levels of low cost renewable energy,” added Sims.

Adopting energy storage systems into national energy systems can also benefit the consumers, by reducing electricity costs throughout the grid. Similar initiatives have been incorporated in other countries, with RES alone commissioning six similar projects in North America.

“RES has previously pioneered the delivery of very fast frequency services in Canada and is one of the largest providers of such services in the USA,” said Prendergast. “Now, developing this innovative service with National Grid is a major step in the development of RES’ U.K. energy storage business.”