#Storage19 Event Partner, RES, has industry leading expertise in energy storage having led 21 projects, using six battery vendors, with more than ten storage functions and a global construction portfolio of 270MW/328MWh. In this blog, Tracy Scott, Delivery Project Manager - New Technologies at RES discusses RES's journey into the industry and the important role storage plays in our electricity system.
As we continue to move towards zero carbon and electrified economies, the grid will need to integrate high levels of intermittent renewable generation such as wind and solar. To provide required energy needs, the installed capacity of wind and solar is likely to be significantly greater than the peak electricity demand of the grid resulting in periods of excess generation while at other times alternative forms of dispatchable net zero-carbon generation will be required.
The structure and operation of the grid will need to change to incentivise high deployment of renewables and the increased flexibility to ensure the grid maintains balance. Electricity markets may need to be redesigned to deliver this. A range of technologies are already commercially available to provide flexibility but penetration of these solutions will need to be scaled-up, while other currently non-commercial technologies will also need to be commercialised and widely deployed.
While there is only a limited volume of battery storage on the UK system at the moment, its true value is already starting to be recognised thanks in part to the speed it can respond at, making it many times more valuable to the grid than gas peakers, for example. And if part of a long-term approach to a more distributed model, batteries could help reduce volatility on the grid and provide far more stability for the market.
In 2014 we started working with National Grid on how battery energy storage could play a role in supporting the network – providing a dynamic frequency response service in sub-second timescales. We used our knowledge and skills from pioneering very fast frequency regulation services in Canada and USA to create a market opportunity in UK. This resulted in a bi-lateral agreement with National Grid and the development of Broxburn Energy Storage Project in Scotland, followed quickly by more sites. The work became a forerunner to National Grid’s tender for 200MW of Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR). Since then, we’ve developed and/or constructed 80MW of energy storage in the UK.
The value of these projects to the National Grid was demonstrated this summer during the significant grid outage when the three sites we manage responded in less than one second to help National Grid minimise the impact when the incident occurred. The situation highlights the stresses that a modern electricity grid must manage. It also demonstrates the valuable role that proven battery storage technology can play. Having more batteries in the system would help even more. Adding 1.2GW of sub-second response batteries would give the system enough in total to match the scale of this summer's generator loss. This would add less than 92p to the average household bill; enormous resiliency for the price of a litre of milk.
RES is the world’s largest independent renewable energy company active in onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy storage and transmission and distribution. At the forefront of the industry for over 35 years, RES has delivered more than 16 GW of renewable energy projects across the globe and supports an operational asset portfolio exceeding 3.5 GW worldwide for a large client base.