Batteries power UK switch to renewables

27th August 2016 | Commercial Energy

An announcement has been made that batteries will power the switch in the UK to renewables. Eight huge battery systems will be used to help the country’s power grid cope with the influx of wind and solar power. Germany’s Eon and France’s EDF are among the energy companies to win the first four-year National Grid contracts to supply split-second power to the electricity system in a £66m deal which is the largest of its kind in Europe.

Renewables now account for 25% of UK electricity generation, which is up from 9% in 2011. Battery storage is important for wind and solar generators because it allows them to store the electricity they produce intermittently and act more like a conventional power plant, providing electricity on demand, rather than just when it is produced.

Seven companies, including Sweden’s Vattenfall and UK-based Renewable Energy Systems will install eight lithium-ion battery systems around the UK. The systems the National Grid has chosen have to ensure that electricity fed through stays at a constant frequency of 50 hertz – any less and lights would flicker, any more could wreck devices such as TV sets.

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