Anesco helps community energy group secure revenues with solar storage project

Anesco has completed construction of a new solar farm and storage project in partnership with a community energy group which will see local charities benefit from funding over the next 40 years.

The new 4.189MW development at Oxcroft near Chesterfield has been built on land formerly used for coal stocking and is already generating electricity. The park is eligible for a 1.3 ROC rate, with surplus profits from the sale of power to be fed into a community fund operated by Chesterfield Community Energy (CCE).

CCE has also negotiated a power purchase agreement (PPA) with utility Limejump to deliver a competitive energy price for the exported energy at Chesterfield Solar Array. A variable price PPA has been entered into for two years when CCE will re-negotiate the agreement to maintain the best rate in the market.

The completed project will also see a 1MW / 1.2 MWh Energy Storage System (ESS) installed on the site, which Anesco says will be one of just two units installed at community energy projects in the UK.

Storing the electricity and then releasing it at a time and rate to support peak demand allows the network operators to balance the grid network and offers another financial benefit to CCE. The ESS provides two further income streams through the Transmission System use of Network, or TRIADs, and Firm Frequency Response (FFR).

TRIADs are rewarded for power released during the highest demand periods between November and February. At the end of each winter, the UK energy market will retrospectively identify the three peak 30 minute periods of highest demand over the last four months. Large consumers of energy are then retrospectively charged a premium for the power used during these times periods, whilst generators are rewarded for the power released to the grid.

FFR is a scheme developed by National Grid to support its network by maintaining stable frequency levels. At times when the network is affected by large variations in generation or demand, such as a power station going offline unexpectedly in order to maintain frequency of the grid, a remote signal is sent to locations with energy storage, such as batteries.

Having received the signal, the battery will fully discharge over a 30 minute period and by doing so, stabilises the grid. Rather than being paid for the amount of energy released to the network, the site is paid for its availability.

These funds will be used to directly benefit a range of local charity groups, with £15,000 to be given annually for the 40 year lifetime of the scheme.

Delvin Lane, commercial director at Anesco, said: “It’s been incredibly rewarding supporting a project that’s not only benefitting the environment but also the local community. The groups CCE has chosen to support are doing fantastic work and we know they will put the funding to very good use.

“It’s also rewarding to know that the site, which was formerly used for coal stocking, is now in the business of green energy, helping to drive down carbon emissions and create a better future for everyone.”

According to Anesco, which will also operate and maintain the site over the next 40 years, the Chesterfield project is the company’s 11th installation of this storage system in the past few years.

CCE is funding the Chesterfield Solar Array through the sale of £3.2m of bonds, which can be purchased by the public, and its debt partner, Close Brothers. The offer will remain open until the maximum sum has been reached, or until 31 May 2016. 

Solar Media is hosting the Energy Storage Summit at Twickenham Rubgy Stadium, London, on 28 April. The event – featuring 40 high-level speakers and three streams (residential, commercial and utility scale) – will address all the key issues related to storage deployment. You can view the programme here and the attendee list here.