First-of-a-kind storage project in the UK

21 February 2023

Wärtsilä has contracted to supply a 200 MW/400 MWh energy storage system (ESS) under an ‘engineered equipment delivery’ (EEQ) contract to Zenobe, an electric vehicle fleet and battery storage specialist in Blackhillock, Scotland. The project will be the first in the world to deliver stability services using a transmission-connected battery, supporting the UK’s transition to a zero-carbon energy network by preparing the grid for an increased supply of renewable energy. The ESS will be one of the largest in the UK.

It is the first project to be delivered under National Grid’s NOA Stability Pathfinder programme. Operated by Zenobe, the ESS will assist grid operators in the management of challenges related to balancing supply and demand, power stability and constraints. Located in north-eastern Scotland, the project is well suited to the task of integrating nearby offshore wind energy projects in the North Sea with the UK’s energy grid.

Stability services to the National Grid ESO will include short-circuit level and true synthetic inertia, which are essential for the grid to function efficiently as fossil fuel plants phase out. The project couples Wärtsilä’s ESS with inverter technology, an innovative solution that pushes the technical boundaries of the types of support that batteries can provide to the grid.

The GEMS Digital Energy Platform, Wärtsilä’s energy management system, will control the ESS. It combines machine learning with historic and real-time data analytics to optimise operations, while easing network constraints by importing electricity at times of peak renewable generation.

The project is expected to become operational by summer 2024.

Image: The energy storage system is expected to be operational by summer 2024 (courtesy of Wärtsilä)

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