Storage projects have landed more than 3.2GW of contracts in the provisional Capacity Market auction results, around 500MW of which has been allocated to new-build battery storage projects. This week’s auction secured around 52GW of electricity capacity for the winter 2020/21 period and storage – competing for extended 15-year contracts for the first time – landed more than 6% of the total allocated capacity. Most notably four of the battery projects previously successful within National Grid’s Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) tender also gained 15-year contracts as new build generators in this week’s Capacity Market auction, further endorsing their application for grid stability.
Solar Power Portal 9th Dec 2016 read more »
In a big step forward for green energy, the government has said that low-carbon batteries will play a role in balancing the national grid for the first time. About 500MW of battery storage will come online by 2020-21, it said, helping to assure electricity supply at times of high demand. It follows a market-wide capacity auction that also saw agreements signed with gas and coal-power providers. Gareth Miller of energy research group Cornwall said the success of batteries in this year’s auction was a “significant step”. “It may represent only a fraction of total capacity but I think the role of batteries is only going to grow. And lithium ion batteries are a much cleaner way of storing electricity.
BBC 9th Dec 2016 read more »
Battery storage plants will be given UK government subsidies to provide electricity when supplies run low in a breakthrough for a technology considered crucial to the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Several storage facilities – which absorb surplus electricity at times of excess generation and release it when needed – won contracts with National Grid, the UK power system operator, in its latest auction of subsidies for back-up capacity. The 500 megawatts of new storage projects procured in the auction – equivalent to a medium-sized thermal power station – is by far the biggest uptake of battery technology so far by National Grid and highlights the rapid change under way in Britain’s energy sector. The ability to store electricity is seen as critical to helping balance supply and demand in the power system as reliable but dirty fossil fuels are gradually replaced with clean but volatile wind and solar generation.
FT 9th Dec 2016 read more »
A few days ago I heard a presentation by Paul Massara of North Star Solar, a new solar PV + battery home energy system start-up. One of his points was that scale manufacture of lithium ion batteries means that electrical storage is getting cheaper and cheaper, and PV + battery packages are now cost effective in the UK with the right financing package. Certainly such systems seem to be taking off in places like Australia, and are now required in new installations in Germany. These are home system batteries, but it seems very likely that in the near future they will also be joined in many homes by electric vehicle batteries. So what are the implications for the way that electricity markets work if batteries really do become cheap and ubiquitous? My aim here is to do a quick thought experiment about what could happen, definitelynot a prediction of what will happen, by when, and so on. Start first on the demand side, with that rooftop solar PV + battery combo. In the UK, solar output peaks in the middle of the day. In a lot of households, demand is low at this point, and if we assume solar PV is also cheap and households have a lot of it, generation is likely to exceed demand for much of the middle of the day, allowing batteries to charge up. Switching to batteries at the evening peak then reduces net peak demand on the grid (in my thought experiment households have smart meters and home systems which receive some kind of scarcity price signal and automatically switch to the cheapest source– this of course may not happen in reality). If it has been really sunny there may also be enough left over to cut down the morning peak as well.
IGov 9th Dec 2016 read more »
The world’s largest cold energy storage plant is being commissioned at a site near Manchester. The cryogenic energy facility stores power from renewables or off-peak generation by chilling air into liquid form. When the liquid air warms up it expands and can drive a turbine to make electricity. The 5MW plant near Manchester can power up to 5,000 homes for around three hours. The company behind the scheme, Highview Power Storage, believes that the technology has great potential to be scaled up for long-term use with green energy sources.
BBC 10th Dec 2016 read more »