Low Carbon Ready

Short-term Discharge Energy Storage

Project Data

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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’.

What is the project about?

Storage of energy is a concept that has been around for a long time however there are always new types of innovative technologies and devices emerging. We are investigating how these can be used store electricity on the distribution network and help us deliver benefits to customers.

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.

How we’re doing it

We installed a 200kWh energy storage system in Hemsby, Norfolk, in April 2011. This Low Carbon Networks Fund first tier project is gaining practical experience with the device.

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

What makes it innovative

  • 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

What we’re learning

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.

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