Grid-scale batteries

41 MW grid-scale battery planned in UK Midlands

US engineering giant GE (General Electric) and Arenko, UK energy infrastructure company, are working together strategically on developing a grid-scale battery across the United Kingdom. The first announced project in the pipeline will be a 41MW BESS to be located in the Midlands.

Arenko has invested in the GE system, the partnership seeks to gain an advantage by combining GE’s battery technology solutions, advanced controls and power electronics with Arenko’s proprietary energy trading software platform and experience operating batteries in the UK market.

The 41 MW project, which has pre-qualified for the upcoming UK T-4 Capacity Market auction, is thought to be GE’s Bloxwich project — the only battery development which matches the announcement out of the eight pre-qualified projects for the upcoming tender. The battery — GE’s 19th energy storage solution and its largest — is targeted to come online in 2018.

GE and Arenko are said to be planning many further energy storage projects and developments, with a focus on sustainability and eliminating the need for subsidies. To date, GE has been a key player in energy storage solutions with announcements for early-stage plans in Mexico and the development of a novel hybrid storage system combining batteries and gas.

Mirko Molinari, Global Commercial & Marketing Executive, Energy Storage at GE Power commented:
“Energy storage will help balance supply and demand close to real time, avoiding frequency drifts and supporting the mid-term response to grid imbalances. The flexibility it offers smooths the fluctuating nature of renewable energy, provides quick reserves when needed, stores excess energy generation and much more. Energy storage will enable a more efficient system for a more reliable supply of electricity to consumers.

“Arenko are pioneers in the commercialisation of energy storage systems: this collaboration cements two years of working together towards the shared vision of creating a battery storage solution which addresses the ever-changing needs of a modern energy system.”

Rupert Newland, Chief Executive, Arenko Group commented: “Arenko’s new battery system will provide much needed flexibility to the UK grid, reducing waste and helping to make energy bills cheaper for households and businesses. This project is very significant in addressing the UK’s long-term energy security concerns, enabling the transition to a low carbon energy future.

“This is a demonstration of Arenko’s strategy to partner with top tier corporates to make a major, positive and sustainable impact on the energy sector. We are focussed on addressing this complex but exciting commercial opportunity and helping to build the future of the UK’s energy system.”

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