Smarter Network Storage - UK Power Networks

Customer: Smarter Network Storage (UK Power Networks)
Location: Leighton Buzzard
Technology: Battery Storage
Installed capacity: 6MW
Customer since: 2013

The Smarter Network Storage (SNS) project developed by UK Power Networks is trialling the role that storage can play in enabling a low-carbon, decentralised power system and in reducing costs by matching supply more closely with demand.

The £18.7m project, supported by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks Fund, is based around a 6MW battery at Leighton Buzzard which is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

Although the project continues until the end of this year, Panagiotis Papadopoulos, Innovation Engineer and Project Manager for UK Power Networks, said it had already boosted wider understanding of the issues.

“We’ve seen a significant deal of interest in the development of the project from across the industry both in the UK and overseas. The future development of storage will also depend on factors such as regulation and the cost of storage but we have made much progress on helping improve understanding of how different options could work.”

SmartestEnergy joined the project primarily to help with the development of a number of innovative commercial routes to market for energy from the network storage device. Panagiotis said SmartestEnergy had been an “invaluable partner” on the project.

“In the initial stages SmartestEnergy played a key role in testing and validating the systems and software as well as providing ongoing support for optimisation of the storage,” he said.

“Their input on pricing has also helped us better schedule the storage and enable greater understanding of the energy-related costs and revenues of storage which is an area where there are gaps in knowledge across the industry.”

Panagiotis said the involvement of key industry partners such as SmartestEnergy in the project had been critical to its achievements to date.

“Realising an energy storage integrated electricity system will require innovation and support from across the industry and the SNS project has been a great example of that.”

Follow the progress of the project here

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