New £1 million energy solution ‘in store’ for the UK

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New £1 million energy solution ‘in store’ for the UK

One of the first industrial-scale battery storage facilities is to be developed in the UK, thanks to a ground-breaking initiative announced today by British Solar Renewables (BSR) and Western Power Distribution (WPD).

This £1 million project will demonstrate the technical and commercial feasibility of directly linking a major battery storage facility, a solar park and the electricity network.

WPD, the electricity distributor for the Midlands, South West and South Wales, is carrying out the project funded by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance, in conjunction with BSR and the National Solar Centre (NSC).

The aim is to realise the benefits of using battery storage on an industrial scale so it can play a key role in the UK energy market as it moves towards a renewable energy future.  A key outcome of the initiative will be the creation of a framework commercial agreement model for use by investors and developers to increase battery storage assets across the UK.

The project is one of the first of its kind in the country and will involve the installation of a battery system at a 1.5MW solar park, at Copley Wood near Butleigh, Somerset, which will be connected to WPD’s South West network.  The battery will be built and supplied by RES, a UK renewable energy company which has already pioneered the delivery of battery energy storage in the US and Canada. The project will be completed by 2018.

WPD’s Innovation and Low Carbon Networks Engineer, Jenny Woodruff, said:  “Finding an economical way to store renewable energy will provide security of energy supply from renewable sources. It will ensure renewables aren’t wasted, as in this case it will allow solar energy to be stored and accessed when required.

Steve Edwards, Technical and Strategy Director at British Solar Renewables Limited, where the battery storage system is being installed, added:  “BSR is excited to be collaborating on this ground-breaking project by providing solar storage expertise and the site the battery will be operated from.

Combining renewable energy and energy storage creates a compelling proposition of affordable, predictable, low-carbon energy, and we will be using the learning from this project to further develop our commercial offering. Helping us to demonstrate the new business models, which are rapidly emerging in the integration of storage and PV, will allow BSR’s customers and distribution network operators such as WPD to benefit from the outcomes.

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