Immingham power plant ventures into battery storage
28th February 2018
THE UK’S largest portfolio of utility-scale, enhanced frequency response battery storage sites has been completed by a joint venture involving one of the South Bank’s most enhanced energy operators.
VPI Immingham, owner of one of the largest combined heat and power plants in Europe, is helping support grid flexibility and increase reliance on greener forms of electricity generation.
Working with Low Carbon, a renewable energy investment company, the 50MW portfolio is now grid connected.
It spans two sites at either end of the country – a 40MW battery park in Glassenbury, Kent and a 10MW battery park at Cleator in Cumbria – operating under the name VLC Energy.
The two sites secured contracts as part of 2016’s 200MW National Grid Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) auction, and will deliver a quarter of its capacity.
Russell Hardy, chairman of VPI Immingham and chief executive for Europe, Middle East and Africa at parent company Vitol, said: “Batteries hold the key to the future of the power landscape, both in the UK and internationally. Ensuring grid resilience is a necessary step in the growth of renewable generation.”
Both sites use LG Chem lithium-ion battery modules, and advanced energy management systems from NEC, and will provide sub-second responses to surges in energy supply and demand, providing grid flexibility and electricity storage.
Roy Bedlow, chief executive of Low Carbon, said: “These battery parks represent perhaps the greatest increase in UK energy storage capacity to date as part of National Grid’s EFR auction. We’re delighted to have developed these sites with our partners at VPI Immingham, and look forward to expanding VLC Energy’s storage portfolio.
“Energy storage is critical to managing the demands on the grid, ensuring consumer needs are met, and increasing our reliance on low-carbon forms of electricity generation. These sites will help us tackle climate change and help the UK realise a cleaner and more energy efficient future.”
At Immingham, the combined heat and power plant – initially brought forward by Phillips 66, and bought in 2013 – generates 1,240 MW, about 2.5 per cent of UK peak electricity demand, and up to 930 tonnes of steam per hour, which is used by Phillips 66 and Total Lindsey Oil Refinery in their processes.
Leon Walker, quantitative analysis manager at National Grid, said: “Using battery storage is a significant development for managing the national grid. It’s an ultra-fast way of keeping electricity supply and demand balanced.
“Over four years we estimate that this service will save the system operator around £200 million. This is good news for consumers who benefit from our cost efficiencies, and paves the way for battery technology to establish itself as an important component of our energy system.”
News Courtesy: www.humberbusiness.com