Short-term discharge energy storage

Start date: March 2011 End date: February 2014 (project closed) Low Carbon Networks Fund: £225,000


We installed a 200kWh Li-Ion battery at an electricity substation site in Hemsby, near Great Yarmouth, to understand the impact of small-scale electricity storage on a distribution network. The full name of the Hembsy project is 'Demonstrating the benefits of short term discharge energy storage on a 11kV distribution network’.

Battery technology is being tested to see how much electricity could be stored from local wind turbines when power generation exceeds demand, reduce voltage fluctuations and manage demand on the distribution network. The trial is exploring how electricity can be stored to overcome the challenge of intermittent power production from renewable sources.

Traditionally electricity cannot be stored like water can, but a battery breaks the link between how much electricity is generated and consumed. This could play a wider role across the country in the future.

The aim is to understand how electricity storage can help manage intermittent demand and generation. It is exploring electricity storage as an alternative to traditional network reinforcement.

Our trial covers these points:
  • The storage device’s capabilities on a real electricity network
  • Demonstrate load-shifting of the device (200kWh, one hour discharge duration)
  • Scale-up the findings to see how a battery could manage larger amounts of demand or generation
  • Consider and rank the value of other proposed uses for batteries, both to electricity network operators and intermittent generators
  • Understand the potential lifetime of the battery
  • Embed the findings into a design tool for network planners and share them with the industry
  • Propose next steps

  • Measuring the performance of the storage device
  • Identifying any practical difficulties and explore solutions
  • Indicate network characteristics where electricity storage may present a compelling solution

In summary, this project will cover the following:

Final project report - June 2014

Project findings showing how electricity can be stored to overcome the challenge of intermittent power production from renewable sources