UKPN reveals results of grid-scale battery storage project trial in UK


UK Power Networks has revealed the results of a two-year trial on the first 6MW/10MWh grid-scale battery storage project.

Known as the Smarter Network Storage Facility, the giant battery was installed at one of Leighton Buzzard’s main substation sites in Bedfordshire, UK.

The battery is designed to be capable of storing energy to cope with peaks in demand and is the size of three tennis courts. It can store enough electricity to power 6,000 homes for 1.5 hours at peak times.

During the trial period, the battery has proved its capability to potentially transform the energy grid and play a major role in the transition towards a low-carbon economy.

"We believe that grid-scale storage has a huge role to play in addressing the challenges the industry faces."

UK Power Networks' director of safety strategy and support services Suleman Alli said: “As we move towards a low carbon, decentralised, digital energy system, all eyes are on the role of storage, especially batteries, in Britain’s electricity network. We believe that grid-scale storage has a huge role to play in addressing the challenges the industry faces.

“The trial has drawn attention to the fact that the UK’s regulatory framework needs to evolve to help exploit its full potential. For example, energy storage currently incurs a double carbon levy, both when it stores energy and when it releases it.”

Administered by Ofgem, the project received £13.2m funding from the Low Carbon Networks Fund, £4m from UKPN, and £1.2m from other businesses partners and academic institutions.

The battery will remain operational in Leighton Buzzard to meet the electricity demands in Bedfordshire.