Sembcorp’s UK business has powered up its first 60 MW of “ultra-fast” battery storage capacity.
The company has commissioned three 20 MW sites in England that will support grid operations. They bring Sembcorp Energy UK’s operating portfolio in Great Britain to 973 MW, and represent one half of a planned 120 MW energy storage portfolio, the company said.
The three sites are located in Asfordby in Leicestershire, and Ellesmere Port and Runcorn in Cheshire, and were developed in partnership with Fluence. The entire 120 MW portfolio will be completed in 2020 and is one of the largest transacted fleets of its kind in Europe.
“This is a significant milestone as we grow our business with a technology that supports a renewable future and helps deliver the UK government’s decarbonisation plan,” said Nomi Ahmad, Head of Sembcorp Energy UK. “Our assets are positioned close to points of demand where power is most needed. Our sites will play a pivotal role in providing a more secure energy system, helping to mitigate blackout events such as were experienced by UK network operators recently.”
The storage sites are able to supply power in a matter of milliseconds. This rapid response will help National Grid keep the lights on and avoid situations such as the outage of 9 August 2019, when the UK suffered its largest blackout in more than a decade.
“The August 9 blackouts underlined the UK’s critical need for robust and flexible energy storage technology platforms,” said Paul McCusker, Fluence Vice President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “The batteries already on the system helped mitigate some of the worst impacts of the event.”