100MW battery goes live, supplying reactive wind power to Chester

Europe’s largest battery to connect directly to a transmission network has gone live in Capenhurst, Chester and is forecast to prevent a million tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere over the next 15 years.

In December last year, National Grid paid £82million to wind farm operators to turn off their turbines to prevent the energy system from being overwhelmed. The new battery, connecting at 275,000 volts has been developed to address that problem. It is estimated that over the first 15 years of operation, the battery at Capenhurst will save around £58m on curtailment costs.

The 100MW battery is the largest transmission-connected battery in Europe and the first to connect directly to the transmission network in the UK. It is also the first battery in the world to have a commercial contract to provide reactive power services

It was commissioned in direct response to a National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO) Pathfinder which looked for a cost-effective solution to the high-voltage issues seen in the Mersey region as an alternative to fossil fuel generators.

Up until now, reactive power services in Merseyside have been provided by local fossil fuel power stations, like Fiddler’s Ferry, which have closed in the past few years. Capenhurst coming online will significantly lower the region’s reliance on gas imports to secure the grid.

The project – which covers an area the size of two football pitches – was delivered by Zenobe, the  battery storage and EV fleet specialist. Their co-founder James Basden says: ‘With Capenhurst, we’re solving a key issue on the grid in the Merseyside region whilst significantly enhancing the nation’s use of renewable power. This pioneering project enables us to deliver vital grid services without the need for fossil fuels, supporting cities like Liverpool with their zero carbon targets.

‘The activation of the site represents a key milestone for Zenobe as a business and for the UK as it moves towards a zero-carbon power system. Decarbonisation is more important than ever, as we face increasing energy prices and seek greater energy independence.’

Further reading: Kill fossil fuels in favour of wind to quadruple health benefits



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