UK Network Operator Installs First Energy Storage System
on the Low Voltage Distribution Network
London, UK – Swansea-based, S&C Electric Company Europe Ltd, with Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD) announced today that commissioning was completed on an innovative new pilot energy storage project. The pilot employs stored energy from batteries to help mitigate the effects of low carbon devices on the low voltage (LV) network and is in part funded by OFGEM’s Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund.
Based at the SSEPD eco-home project, ‘Zero Carbon Homes’ in Slough, the pilot will consist of three single phase 25 kWh lithium-ion batteries connected at a strategic point on the LV network. S&C’s PureWave Community Energy Storage (CES) integrates these batteries to the grid enabling them to switch on and off from the grid when required, managing charging and discharging of the batteries. The batteries will be utilised to spread demand and generation loads at different times throughout the day. In addition the batteries can provide real or reactive power to aid with voltage regulation.
During the pilot project, SSEPD will model and analyse the benefits that energy storage can provide to a LV network. Adding a variety of low carbon technologies such as solar photovoltaic and electric vehicles to the network can necessitate building a bigger network to cope with the demand – network reinforcements; this can be costly with associated long lead times. The purpose of the pilot project is to prove that the batteries can perform the same function as a traditional reinforcement and hence there is an economic case for installing energy storage systems.
Andrew Jones, Managing Director, S&C Electric Company Europe, said:
“With a high uptake of low carbon technologies in a concentrated area, there is potential for voltage constraints on the feeder circuits. The present solution is to replace the existing cable and plant with larger capacity, the downside is that it causes significant disruption to customers, requires full excavation and has long lead times. This project has the potential to prevent that reinforcement. At S&C we’re delighted to be working on this project and helping integrate technology that will really benefit UK network operators.”
This is the first project funded by the LCN Fund where the batteries are located at street level close to customers’ homes, not at the point of use or at a substation. Energy storage has the potential to manage reactive flows and reduce peak demand/generation. This will reduce the need for traditional cable replacement, thereby stopping the network from becoming a barrier to the deployment of low carbon technologies.
Alistair Steele, Project Manager, SSEPD, said:
“Our Zero Carbon Homes provide an excellent foundation to trial the batteries as there are multiple low carbon technologies including 65kW solar array, heat pumps and electric vehicles. S&C’s existing experience with energy storage in the US is one of the key reasons we are using their technology. Our objective is to learn how we can deploy and operate these batteries; the learning will be shared with other network operators to inform future energy storage projects in the UK.”
Interim results from the first stage of the pilot will be published in 2013 with a final report submitted in early 2014.
About S&C Electric Company Europe
S&C Electric Company Europe is helping the UK to transition to the low carbon economy, by maximising existing grid assets, and assimilating distributed generation and demand technologies.
S&C Electric Company Europe Ltd, the European division of S&C Electric Company, applies the organisation’s 100 year heritage of innovation to address the challenges facing the world’s power grids and thus to shape the future of reliable electricity delivery.
Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution
Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution Limited, and its subsidiaries Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission, Southern Electric Power Distribution and Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution, are all members of the SSE Group. Through its Power Distribution business, it transmits and distributes electricity to over 3.7 million businesses, homes and offices in central southern England and the north of Scotland. (November 2012)