Centrica installs 3MW battery for Gateshead Council
Energy company secures 10-year contract to manage the facility for local council
22nd September 2017 by Networks
Centrica has installed one of the country’s largest commercial battery storage schemes for renewable energy in Gateshead, and claims it has several more schemes in the pipeline.
“It’s all about flexible energy, not renewables alone, and that means storage,” a Centrica spokesperson said.
The battery project will be commissioned later this year and managed by Centrica under a 10-year contract with Gateshead Council.
The 3MW battery project is made up of six units holding the equivalent of one million AA batteries and can store enough power to meet the needs of 3,000 homes for one hour.
It will be used to store or release power for the Gateshead District Energy Centre, which consists of a pair of 2MW combined heat and power (CHP) units and a private wires network which can supply power to 5,000 homes.
At times of low demand, the battery will also supply sub-second response services to National Grid for system balancing and flexibility.
Centrica’s Gateshead scheme is typical of the kind of battery schemes likely to be built in the next few years, while the costs associated with energy stroage technologies continue to fall, Macquarie utilities analyst Dominic Nash told Utility Week.
Nash said battery storage is “the future”, but while “the econiomics dont quite add up” deployment will be limited the “bespoke solutions which are viable for a particular situation”.
Centrica’s latest battery storage scheme builds on a long-term energy partnership between the energy company and Gateshead Council who have installed 2MW of solar panels on 34 public buildings in the town.
John McElroy, Gateshead Council’s cabinet member for environment and transport, said the new battery “completes” the wider district energy scheme. “It’s a bold, imaginative scheme that means we can store and release power when we choose, as well as supporting the National Grid, which helps raise more income to support Council services,” he said.
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