Centrica Business Solutions has announced plans to convert a decommissioned Lincolnshire gas-fired power station into a battery storage facility capable of supplying the equivalent of a full day's energy consumption for 11,000 households.
Working in partnership with GE, the company has started construction on a 50MW /100MWh battery storage project at Brigg, which will provide energy storage for the 43 onshore wind farms across Lincolnshire, maximising the potential of every megawatt of green electricity and providing vital resilience for the grid.
Storing renewable energy in this way makes it possible to better control the peaks and troughs associated with renewable energy generation - charging the batteries when electricity demand is low and discharging when demand peaks.
The battery installed at Brigg represents the largest investment in storage capacity Centrica has made to date. It will have the capacity to store 100MWh of electric energy, equivalent to a full day's energy consumption for around 15 per cent of the homes in North Lincolnshire.
The battery storage system, supplied by GE, will provide grid support and energy services that will not only provide stabililty to the grid when there are power disruptions but also ensure renewable energy is utilised optimally, which should free capacity to allow more new renewable generation on the network.
Greg McKenna, managing director of Centrica Business Solutions, said: "Investing in low-carbon energy assets that boost the UK's ability to store more renewable energy is key to getting to Net Zero. Lincolnshire has 242MW of onshore wind power capacity, but when supply outstrips demand some of those green electrons will go to waste if not stored. Working with GE we'll store green energy produced locally and use it as efficiently as possible.
"As the UK's power generation capacity becomes more distributed and the share of renewables increases, generation flexibility becomes critical to keep the lights on securely, sustainably, and affordably. Brigg battery storage investment will ensure we can maximise the use of the green energy generated by nearby wind farms - storing when the wind blows and discharging when it doesn't."
Prakash Chandra, renewable hybrids chief executive officer at GE, said: "The UK has been one of the earliest and largest players in the battery energy storage space and the installed capacity keeps growing. However, there is a need for more if the country wants to achieve its Net Zero emission target for the power sector by 2035. We are glad to bring another project to life together with Centrica."
Brigg battery storage is set to be fully operational in late 2023 with plans to run the site for 25 years. The solution implemented will be a 2-hour duration system with GE's flexible duration architecture that will allow Centrica to modify the duration of the system in response to future grid needs and market opportunities.