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NEC completes 50MW of energy storage projects

NEC Energy Solutions has completed two energy storage facilities with total capacity of 50MW for VLC Energy, a joint venture between Low Carbon and VPI Immingham.

Both sites secured contracts with the national grid in August 2016 to provide UK system operators with enhanced frequency response (EFR) through battery energy storage.

Originally, they were expected to be grid connected last November.

The 40MW battery park in Glassenbury in Kent and the 10MW battery park located at Cleator in Cumbria will deliver a quarter of the 200MW capacity secured by National Grid to provide sub-second grid flexibility to increase reliance on low-carbon forms of electricity generation.

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Together they represent the largest portfolio of utility-scale battery energy storage systems connected to the UK grid.

Both the Cleator and Glassenbury sites have been awarded capacity market contracts in a leading example of how project revenues can be used over the lifetime of the project to provide a more secure income.

NEC Energy Solutions provided turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services which included its GSS® end-to-end grid storage solution, and was contracted to operate the sites to provide the EFR service directly to National Grid.

Energy storage operation for EFR will be handled by an automated operating mode designed specifically for the UK frequency response service, and is part of the AEROS® controls system, NEC’s proprietary energy storage control software.

NEC Energy Solutions will also provide warranty service and maintenance for ten years to maintain all required operating capabilities to satisfy the terms of the EFR contracts.

Justin Thesiger, Operations Director at Low Carbon, said: “The two new battery parks at Glassenbury and Cleator will ensure stability within the local grid and that the electricity demands of residents can be consistently met, including at times of high demand.

“Sites such as these are fundamental to our energy security and also to realising the full potential of renewable electricity generation that hit record levels earlier this year.”

In December, a report by report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Energy Storage found the UK could have 12GW of subsidy-free battery storage deployed nationwide by 2021, if the government can learn the lessons of the solar industry’s growth trajectory by carefully supporting policies and measures designed to deliver greater energy security to the country.

Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive of Low Carbon, said: “These battery parks represent perhaps the greatest increase in UK energy storage capacity to date as part of National Grid’s EFR auction.

“We’re delighted to have developed these sites with our partners at VPI Immingham, and look forward to expanding VLC Energy’s storage portfolio.

“Energy storage is critical to managing the demands on the grid, ensuring consumer needs are met, and increasing our reliance on low-carbon forms of electricity generation.

“These sites will help us tackle climate change and help the UK realise a cleaner and more energy efficient future.”

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