DONG Energy turns to battery storage for Burbo Bank windfarm

Wind energy provider DONG Energy has announced plans to integrate a 2MW battery storage system into the Burbo Bank offshore windfarm to deliver frequency response to aid the National Grid in managing grid stability.

DONG Energy claim that the wind power and battery hybrid system is a “first of its kind”, whereby offshore wind is used to deliver frequency response to the grid.

“The need for flexibility is expected to grow, and as a low-carbon leader, we’re keen to be part of the solution to make the energy system smarter,” DONG Energy’s senior vice president for asset management Ole Kjems Sørensen said.

“We’re excited to use battery technology to demonstrate this wind power and battery hybrid capability. With eight existing offshore wind farms in the UK and another four under construction, we expect to leverage further technology improvements and innovations and ensure that DONG Energy supports the stability of grid systems as generation capacity becomes cleaner and more sustainable.”

Frequency response is used by the National Grid to manage stability. Frequency variables are constantly changing through input capability and output demands, but must remain close to 50Hz so that everything from power stations to home appliances aren’t affected.

The 2MW battery, set to be installed by the end of 2017, will give the 90MW Burbo Bank windfarm the ability to inject or reduce bursts of active power being sent to the National Grid.

“As Great Britain’s energy mix changes, we know that ensuring a safe and stable supply of energy into future will require more flexible services,” National Grid’s head of network capability Richard Smith said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how the DONG Energy solution of storage connected to the offshore wind farm will provide services to help us respond to day-to-day operational challenges and maintain the frequency of 50 Hz on Great Britain’s electricity system.”

Money in the Burbo Bank

The Burbo Bank offshore windfarm has been fully operational since 2007, and has recently started using the planet’s biggest and most powerful wind turbines to generate electricity.

Lego has invested a 25% stake in the Burbo Bank Extension wind farm off the coast of Liverpool. With a capacity of 5.3GW, the farm helped Lego hit its 100% renewable energy three years early.

Last year, DONG Energy launched a new scheme that offered commercial customers financial rewards for turning down their consumption or increasing onsite generation when the wind isn’t blowing. The Renewable Balancing Reserve service was DONG’s latest attempt to balance the intermittent supply of wind with customer demand.

In fact, energy-intensive businesses are being urged to voluntarily shift their energy usage in exchange for a payment in the coming months, as the National Grid anticipates a summer of low peak demands on the system.

Matt Mace

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