Renewable Energy Systems pioneer battery-storage project to help Grid balance UK demand

An RES battery box
An RES battery box

National Grid and Renewable Energy Systems (RES) are working together to develop the first battery energy storage systems to provide a dynamic frequency response service in nano-second timescales in Great Britain.

They have agreed a four-year contract that will see RES provide 20MW of frequency response from battery storage in a move which could herald a major shift in the way storage is seen on the UK network.

This is a new service which will aid National Grid in performing its system balancing role, which increasingly requires innovation and the use of new technologies.

The services delivered by RES battery storage systems will provide cost effective frequency response to the grid within one second of the detection of a frequency deviation. The battery storage systems will be fully operational within 18 months.

RES and National Grid have been working together on this project since 2014. It has been a forerunner to National Grid’s forthcoming tender for 200MW of Enhanced Frequency Response.

As the price of battery energy storage has fallen in line with gigawatt scale deployment in the stationary energy storage and in battery-powered vehicles (BPVs), such services are now reducing electricity costs for consumers across global markets. RES has already commissioned six similar projects in North America.

RES is already in the construction phase of its first UK energy storage project – a battery system integrated with solar PV in Somerset for Western Power Distribution.

Adam Sims, Senior Account Manager, National Grid said: “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.

“This will enable us to respond to frequency issues in under a second, helping to maintain the integrity of the grid. 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.”

John Prendergast, RES Energy Storage Manager, said: “Energy storage can play a large role in supporting the UK’s transition to a secure, low carbon, low cost energy system.

“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 UK.”

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