Energy storage: RedT and Centrica connect 1MWh flow machines in Cornwall

RedT's vanadium redox flow energy storage machines
RedT’s vanadium redox flow energy storage machines

Energy storage firm RedT has connected 1MWh of flow machines to the grid as part of its project with Centrica in North Cornwall. 

The company uses vanadium redox flow technology, which it claims can deliver longer duration energy storage as opposed to the shorter burst power storage provided by battery technologies and chemistries such as lithium and lead acid.

CEO Scott McGregor believes longer duration storage assets will be required by energy systems in the UK and around the world as the penetration of renewable generation increases.

The project with Centrica is at The Olde House, a 600 acre farm and holiday retreat. It is enabling the farm to store solar energy from its 250kW PV array to use later in the day, which is when guests are returning to the holiday cottages.

The set up means the farm can harness significantly more of its renewable solar onsite generation, with RedT suggesting that that the project’s rate of return is in the “mid teens”, or roughly seven to eight years.

Centrica’s Local Energy Market trial is a £19m innovation project that also involves Western Power Distribution, The University of Exeter and National Grid. It is designed to show the role flexibility and storage can play in driving down the cost of energy across local and national systems.

RedT believes timeshifting the solar for use at peak times could save The Olde House up to 50% on grid imports during peak times.

It will also create revenue by tracking and dynamically responding to changes in grid frequency (frequency response) and providing grid services such as; Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR), participation in the Capacity Market and Demand Turn Up.  

Centrica will control the system and engage in trading and arbitrage to unlock further revenue.

“We are delighted to announce that our flagship energy storage project in the UK is now fully operational,” said  RedT CEO Scott McGregor, who believes that the industrial and commercial market is also a huge opportunity for energy storage, suggesting an addressable market of 3,000GWh based on government energy consumption data (DUKES).

Matt Hastings, programme director of the Cornwall Local Energy Market trial at Centrica commented:

“Energy storage will play a fundamental part in the programme, providing the local network operator with a tool to help stabilise the system, relieving constrained parts of the network, and giving homes and businesses the ability to store their own energy.”

Centrica is still seeking applications from local businesses to be involved in the trial. Find out more here.

Interested in storage? Download The Energyst’s latest storage report here.

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