The sophistication of battery innovations now hooked to the grid took a leap forward this week, with two major announcements.

In a UK network first, EDF-owned Pivot Power has connected its 50 MW / 50 MWh storage unit in Cowley, Oxford for ‘tertiary’ export to the high voltage backbone grid.

Engineers define a ‘tertiary’ connection as a way of plugging storage directly into the National Grid’s high voltage national transmission backbone.  Such connections come with a maximum 57 MW demand or generation capacity.

The connection runs on the BESS software of Energy SuperHub Oxford, Pivot’s consortium with five partners.  Due for completion next year, the hub aggregates low carbon storage and generation sources across the city, such as EV chargers, heat pumps and batteries.

Pivot intends developing 2GW of storage nationwide. Its site at Kemsley in Kent is expected for imminent connection. Two further projects in the West Midlands promise a further 100MW of power and 200 MWh of capacity.

“We’re hugely honoured that National Grid have chosen to recognise the work we have done at Cowley to create the UK’s first transmission-connected battery. We couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve achieved together,” Pivot Power’s chief technology officer Mikey Clark said.

Meanwhile, turn-key power innovators Anesco have won contracts from financier-developers Foresight Group and finance partners JLEN to build and maintain two 50 MW amp hotels in Melksham, Wiltshire and West Gourdie, Dundee.   Both are due to be operating by autumn 2022. Thereafter Anesco will manage them for four years.

Anesco secured the contracts by tender.  It already maintains 27 solar farms for Foresight, totalling more than 200MW. One is the 50MW Sandridge farm, adjacent to the new Kent battery.

Sarah Webb, Anesco’s business development director commented:  “Interest in our EPC and O&M capabilities for third party assets remains high. These two sites add to our growing EPC pipeline, including 150MW of self-developed storage assets we’re set to commence construction on shortly.”

Foresight has been targeting investments into battery storage over the past 18 months. JLEN bought the West Gourdie project in March, with JLEN and FSFL acquiring the Sandridge asset two months later on a 50:50 basis.


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