Centrica Business Solutions will convert a decommissioned gas-fired power station in Lincolnshire into a 100MWh battery storage facility.
Working in partnership with GE, the company has started construction of the battery storage project at Brigg and will provide energy storage for 43 onshore wind farms across the county.
In doing so, this will optimise the performance of the renewable energy generation projects and provide a means to store the green energy for when demand increases.
“Investing in low-carbon energy assets that boost the UK’s ability to store more renewable energy is key to getting to net zero,” said Greg McKenna, managing director of Centrica Business Solutions.
“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.”
The battery storage system will be supplied by GE and will provide grid support and energy services to both provide stability to the grid and ensure the renewable energy is used optimally. This will help with current connectivity issues plaguing the UK energy network and allow more renewable generation to join.
“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,” McKenna added.
“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.”
The battery installed at Brigg represents the largest investment in storage capacity Centrica has made to date. The site will be operational in late 2023 with plans to run the site for 25 years.
The solution will additionally integrate a two-hour duration system with GE’s flexible duration architecture. This will allow Centrica to modify the duration of the system in response to future grid needs and opportunities.
“The UK has been one of the earliest and largest players in the battery energy storage space and the installed capacity keeps growing,” said Prakash Chandra, renewable hybrids chief executive officer at GE.
“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.”
The new project will add to Centrica’s growing list of renewable projects in its portfolio. The firm recently confirmed that construction had started on the 18MW Codford Solar Farm, near Warminster in Wiltshire. It will be the first operational site that forms part of Centrica’s 650MW solar farm portfolio by 2026 target.
In 2021, battery storage and EV charging firm Alfen had been selected by Centrica Business Solutions to provide battery energy storage solutions. The three-year framework agreement sees Alfen supply the energy firm with sub 10MW battery energy storage solutions.