Vattenfall, the Swedish energy company, confirmed today [22 May, 2017] that it is to press ahead with a battery storage scheme at Wales’s largest onshore wind farm.
The 22MW system – believed to be the largest co-located battery and wind farm project in the UK – will provide a rapid-reaction grid reliability service to National Grid, known as Enhanced Frequency Response. The six shipping container sized units will be located at Vattenfall’s 228MW Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project, on Natural Resources Wales managed estate.
Frank Elsworth, Vattenfall’s Project Manager for battery@pyc, said: “Vattenfall will provide a really important service to the British consumer. Battery@pyc can respond to power fluctuations on the grid within a second – by pumping in power if frequency drops, or drawing in, if too high. These reliability services have been provided for decades, but not this smartly, so we think battery@pyc is the kind of affordable solution that will help power climate smarter living in the UK.”
He added: “We have started detailed planning for the construction of battery@pyc. It’s not a significant construction but nonetheless we will make sure stakeholders are kept informed of our detailed schedule when it is ready.”
Gunnar Groebler, Vattenfall’s Head of Business Area Wind, said: “This is Vattenfall’s biggest battery project to date and we think it is part of a smart transition to a fossil free Britain and Europe. We have ambitions for more batteries at our wind farm sites across Europe and so I hope that battery@pyc will herald more storage facilities in the UK.”
Vattenfall plans preliminary site investigations for battery@pyc in June or July this year. Once complete, construction on site could start as early as August and be completed by Christmas. Operations at the battery facility is scheduled to start in February 2018.
Earlier this month, Vattenfall said that Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project started operating at full power. The 76-turbine wind farm can meet the electricity needs of more than 13% of households in Wales every year. It also boosts delivery of Wales’s climate change ambitions, displacing in an average year more than 300,000 tonnes of CO2 from fossil fuelled generation.
What is Enhanced Frequency Response?
Frequency response helps keep the electricity grid system at a frequency of 50Hz. Frequency response is provided by different energy generators and storage technologies, but Enhanced Frequency Response is a really fast form of frequency response.
Enhanced Frequency Response is defined by National Grid Electricity Transmission as being a service that achieves 100% active power output at 1 second (or less) of registering a frequency deviation. This is in contrast with existing frequency response services of Primary which have timescales of 10 seconds, and Secondary which has timescales of 30 seconds. This is a new service that is being developed to improve management of the system frequency pre-fault, i.e. to maintain the system frequency closer to 50Hz under normal operation.