BELECTRIC wins in National Grid storage auction

With Hinkley Point looking less likely to happen each day, Friday’s report from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit [1] was a timely reminder of the alternatives available to the UK as it plans for its energy future.

The report concluded that the projected provision from Hinkley could be supplied by adding as few as four large-scale offshore windfarms to those already operating or approved. Less than 5GW of increased interconnection capacity could satisfy peak demand at low output times such as winter evenings, or the shortfall could be made up with 6-10 new gas-fired power stations.

At the heart of these calculations is the appeal of a power supply that can be switched on and off with ease. This might explain why storage technologies received such a boost on Friday, when National Grid published the names of seven companies whose tenders for Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) Services have been accepted.

The EFR auction was designed to support technologies that reduce the response time when there is system volatility in the energy network. Current frequency response time is less than ten seconds. With enhanced frequency response, variations will be addressed in less than one second.

All seven winners offered a lithium-ion battery solution to increase storage capacity on the UK energy network.

One winner was BELECTRIC, a leading engineering contractor that has powered its way to 15th position in installed capacity in the UK ground-mounted market in just three years.

[1] Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit: Hinkley: What If?