The two storage applications will be owned by VLC Energy, a newly created joint venture between renewable energy investors Low Carbon and VPI Immingham, which owns one of Europe’s largest combined heat & power plants in the north of Engand.
The projects will include a 40 MW facility in Glassenbury, South East England and a further 10 MW in Cleator in the North West. Both sites secured contracts with the national grid in August 2016 to provide UK system operators with enhanced frequency response through battery energy storage.
NEC will provide EPC services including its GSS turnkey solution, installation and commissioning, as well as 10 years of O&M services for each project. Project execution has already begun and the systems are expected to be grid connected in November.
“We’re delighted to work with NEC Energy Solutions to develop the UK’s largest portfolio of energy storage plants for the National Grid,” said Low Carbon Operations Director Justin Thesiger. “These battery sites will pave the way for more renewable energy to be connected to the UK’s overall power mix, by helping to balance energy supply and demand more effectively.”
The UK’s huge potential for energy storage applications was confirmed at last month’s Energy Storage Conference, held in London by the Renewable Energy Association. These projects from NEC Energy Solutions are an encouraging sign, but only time will tell if the correct policies and business models can be put in place for the country to realize this potential.