WPD agrees 1GW of battery storage connections, asks how big can market get?

WPD agrees connections for more than 1GW of storage, with connection offers made for a further gigawatt. The DNO now wants help to quantify the market.

Network operator Western Power Distribution says interest in connecting storage assets, chiefly batteries, has reached “unprecedented levels”. It has agreed connections for more than 1GW of storage, with connection offers also made for a further gigawatt.

The company now seeks views from firms mulling energy storage investments so it can plan how to accommodate them on its networks across the midlands, south Wales and the south west.

WPD’s consultation aims to determine:

• The potential scale of growth of energy storage within its distribution network

• The type of energy storage assets/projects that are likely to be deployed within its network and their business models

• The typical operating behaviour of storage assets, how they are likely to be used and their typical modes of operation.

“WPD has received unprecedented interest in connecting storage assets. The volume of grid connection applications has significantly increased over recent years … A total of 2,354 MVA (across 139 sites) of connected, accepted and offered storage capacity is on our network,” states the consultation.

WPD said the volume of those connections in megawatt terms was broadly similar to the MVA value, but was dependent upon the tasks performed by the batteries. Applying a power factor unity of 0.95 to the MVA value would equate to some 2.2GW, the firm suggested.

To plan for the future, the DNO now seeks views on how the storage market might play out.

WPD said it will begin its modelling on a high growth scenario of 10-12 GW and 24-44 GWh of energy storage capacity installed across Great Britain by 2030. Its low growth scenario is 4-5 GW and 6-15 GWh. Both figures include 2.7GW of existing pumped storage.

Under its high growth scenarios, WPD moots grid services (frequency response) and the first wave of industrial and commercial applications for behind the meter models and co-location taking off between now and 2020.

From the early 2020s, those scenarios suggest rapid growth for commercial and industrial applications with co-location projects for wind and solar becoming viable and an expanding community and domestic market.

In the mid to late 2020s, this could be followed by new business models, arbitrage platforms, widespread domestic storage and co-location at wind/solar plants as well as integration of heat and electricity storage.

The consultation asks whether respondents agree with those scenarios, as well as its definition of market segments and services as well as more technical questions around discharge and operating modes and profiles.

Meanwhile, for those looking to progress projects in the near-term, WPD has launched a network capacity map to help developers understand its ability to accommodate larger scale projects by location.

See the consultation here.

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