Dong Energy is to install a 2MW battery at the 90MW Burbo Bank offshore wind farm by the year end. The firm will use it to generate revenue from grid balancing services.
National Grid pays companies to help maintain transmission system frequency at 50Hz. If it drops off (due to power station outages, for instance) or ticks up beyond a certain threshold (too much wind, for example), it could, in the worst case scenario, cause the power system to fail.
Frequency response requires very fast actions from providers. Batteries are amongst the fastest response units, which is why National Grid has launched markets for them such as the Enhanced Frequency Response programme, although it is not certain that another EFR auction will be forthcoming.
Batteries are seen as a potential solution to managing growing volumes of intermittent generation on the UK power system. Some battery developers believe even at current prices, batteries combined with solar could deliver the equivalent of a new reactor at Hinckley C for half the contracted price.
While Dong sees commercial gain from installing the battery at the wind farm, the Danish state-owned firm noted the potential cost savings of colocating batteries with renewables and said it planed to install more batteries at its sites.
Doing so would also enable the firm to reduce so-called imbalance charges, the penalties faced by energy firms for inaccurately forecasting demand and supply. Such penalties are becoming more punitive.
The announcement follows that of Vattenfall, which is also set to install batteries at the 230MW Pen y Cymoedd wind farm in South Wales.
“We’re excited to use battery technology to demonstrate this wind power and battery hybrid capability,” said Ole Kjems Sørensen, senior vice president, Partnerships/M&A and Asset Management at Dong Energy. “With eight existing offshore wind farms in the UK and another four under construction, we expect to leverage further technology improvements and innovations and ensure that DONG Energy supports the stability of grid systems as generation capacity becomes cleaner and more sustainable.”
ABB will supply the battery.