UK’s largest battery storage facility comes online in Hertfordshire
The standalone Stocking Pelham facility, which is the biggest battery portfolio installed in the UK to date across both containerised and non-containerised storage plants, has a maximum output of up to 50MW and a storage capacity of up to 50MWh.
Consisting of 150,000 lithium-ion battery cells and 27 inverters, supported by 12km of cables, the storage plant has been built on disused farmland after planning permission for the site was granted by East Herts District Council in January.
Originally conceived by flexible electricity and energy storage firm Statera Energy, the Pelham facility will be owned and operated by SMA Sunbelt Energy to store excess power generated from solar PV panels after the latter firm re-financed the installation.
The re-financing project saw the Stocking Pelham site re-arranged to incorporate SMA’s E-House design, which sees batteries and associated equipment housed in pre-fabricated buildings.
SMA and construction engineering firm British Solar Renewables (BSR), which installed the facility, claim this design method reduces the site’s environmental footprint by up to 50%, compared to traditional designs using shipping containers.
BSR’s head of engineering, procurement and construction, Tim Humpage, dubbed the facility a “landmark project” that could stimulate the market for energy storage technologies.
“Renewables are meeting more and more of our energy needs, and projects like this have the power to turbo-charge this trend as batteries have the ability to balance supply and demand,” Humpage said.
“Energy storage facilities such as this will play an essential part of the transition to a low-carbon environment in the coming years.”
The UK’s storage sector is booming, with new installations expected to help create savings for the UK to the tune of £8bn by 2030, following a plethora of energy storage announcements in the early months of 2018.
One week into the year, a 50MW portfolio spanning two sites – including a 40MW battery park in Glassenbury, Kent and a 10MW battery park in Cleator, Cumbria – was completed. Since then, renewable energy provider Anesco has announced proposals to bring 185MW of energy onto the grid.
More recently, the world’s first grid-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) facility opened in Bury in a move which showcased an alternative to battery technologies, while the UK Government last month confirmed the latest batch of Faraday Battery Challenge research & development projects that will receive £22m of financial backing between them.
On a global scale, a recent Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report predicted that the energy storage market will double six times by 2030, with more than $100bn being invested across the globe during the next 15 years.