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Largest battery energy storage facility in the UK becomes operational

Largest battery energy storage facility in the UK becomes operational

Gresham House Energy Storage Fund along with leading flexible energy business Flexitricity has confirmed that the largest battery in the UK is now in operation.

The 75MWh energy storage facility in South Yorkshire is being overseen by Flexitricity for revenue generation and supporting National Grid with balancing overall energy supply and demand levels. The new battery went into operation in the Balancing Mechanism (BM) Reserve from Storage Trial and then proceeded to go live in the BM effectively afterwards. The BM is an important part used by National Grid ESO to balance the overall electricity supply and demand in real-time. The BM enables providers to understand whether to increase or decrease generation or demand levels to support in balancing the system.

Flexitricity assesses BM continuously via a 24/7 control room facility and remotely manages the charge and discharge profile of the Thurcroft battery.

The project will include trading the battery in wholesale markets and tendering for frequency response services to support national energy requirements and revenue optimisation for the entire site. Flexitricity introduced the asset into the National Grid ESO Dynamic Containment frequency response service on the first day and has secured daily contracts at a continued high level.

The UK now consists of approximately 1GW of installed battery storage capacity and industry experts believe this figure will continue to rise to meet the demands of delivering a net-zero energy system. 

Andy Lowe, the director of Flexitricity stated that FLexitricity is a critical element of decarbonising grid and batteries are a proven source of flexibility. Mr Lowe explains that investors are more reassured with energy storage and highlights the positivity of seeing several large battery facilities becoming operational this year, providing added flexibility and stability for National Grid ESO.

Mr Lowe believes that ensuring we gain the best value from battery assets means implementing the necessary expertise and agility. Flexitricity has proven experience in the industry and is excited to be partnering with Gresham House on several sites, including Thurcroft. The project has started well, with effective revenue optimisation within several markets, including securing high prices in the first tender round for the new Dynamic Containment service.

Ben Guest, the MD at Gresham House explains that they have plans to expand their energy storage portfolio, with a target of exceeding 350MW in terms of operational assets by the end of this year. Great Britain requires over 10GW in the next few years to allow a realistic transition to a renewable-dominant electricity market. Mr Guest highlights that in turn, they intend to contribute greatly to the national 2050 net-zero targets and continue to provide strong returns for their investors. Gresham House allocates their storage projects to several optimisation partners and selected Flexitricity with Thurcroft after working successfully with them on a previous project.