This Smarter Network Storage (SNS) project aims to carry out a range of technical and commercial innovations to tackle the challenges associated with the low-carbon transition and facilitate the economic adoption of storage. It is differentiated from other LCNF electrical storage projects by its demonstration of storage across multiple parts of the electricity system, outside the boundaries of the distribution network.
Working with S&C Electric and Samsung SDI, Younicos installed a fully automated 6 MW/10 MWh battery power plant at the Leighton Buzzard substation northwest of London. The multi-purpose application helps exploring the capabilities and value in alternative revenue streams for storage. The project aims to provide the industry with a greater understanding and a detailed assessment of the business case and full economics of energy storage, helping to accommodate increasing levels of intermittent and inflexible low carbon generation.
The battery system is mainly used for supporting security of supply; this involves peak shaving to keep the overhead lines feeding the site within rated limits. At other times, it is used to provide additional services, including frequency regulation, which it can do more effectively than conventional thermal power plants.
Younicos adapted different intelligent software components to meet the exacting requirements of the project. They ensure that the battery park automatically reacts to price signals and indicators at any time to deliver the necessary services. During periods of strong demand, the system provides additional stability to the grid. Alternatively, it helps control voltage or regulate frequency. Younicos’ algorithms keep the units sufficiently full or empty to be able to absorb or discharge power. They also optimize the lifespan of the battery by keeping the lithium-ion cells in their “comfort zones” as much as possible.
The project highlights different applications and marketing opportunities for storage, based on demand-focused usage. The savings gained by avoiding various grid expansion activities, such as additional transformers, underground cables or power lines that would otherwise be necessary, amount to £6 million.
This project also provides useful experience in the successful implementation of large storage projects, giving the industry a better understanding and more detailed basis for evaluating the commercial viability of energy storage.