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Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) says it has connected the U.K.'s first large-scale battery to the local electricity distribution network on Orkney.

According to SHEPD, the trial project will investigate how large-scale batteries could play an important role in the release of capacity on the electricity distribution network and explore how the intermittency issues affecting renewable generation could be resolved. The trial is being funded by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks Fund, which supports projects by electricity distribution network operators to try out new technology, operating and commercial arrangements.

The lithium-ion battery has been developed by Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and will be operated by SSE Generation. It is installed at the Kirkwall Power Station and builds on work already carried out by SHEPD in delivering an active network management scheme in Orkney in 2009.

SHEPD says the battery will operate through signals sent by the existing active network management scheme by absorbing and storing excess renewable energy that would otherwise be constrained from the network.

“Although the installation of the battery will not provide an immediate solution to the current constraints on the Orkney distribution network, it is hoped that in the long term the result of the studies will help demonstrate that batteries could provide a cost-effective way of freeing up capacity on the network to help facilitate new connections of low-carbon generation,” comments SHEPD’s Mark Rough.




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