Using battery storage from Centrica business Solutions, the council generates enough electricity to power 3,000 homes for one hour.
Storing energy to cope with spikes in demand
The Gateshead District Energy Centre is a ground-breaking scheme designed to deliver energy to the local area. It aims to bring together multiple energy sources to generate cost savings and strengthen energy resilience.
The Centre includes a pair of 2MW combined heat and power (CHP) units, which generate enough electricity to power 3,000 homes. Gateshead Council, which owns the site, wanted to supplement CHP with battery storage that would give them more flexibility over how to manage their energy.
Centrica Business Solutions has installed one of the country’s largest commercial battery storage schemes for Gateshead Council.
With a total capacity of 3MW, the state-of-the-art battery scheme is made up of six units that hold the equivalent of one million AA battery cells.
Centrica will manage the project under a 10 year contract, providing various flexibility services for the grid which help keep the national electricity network in balance. In time, it will also be used to help meet peaks in local demand, providing electricity through a private wire to council-owned buildings and well-known Tyneside buildings including Gateshead College and the Sage Gateshead concert venue.
The Centrica solution is capable of storing enough energy to meet the needs of 3,000 homes for one hour. Combined with the two CHP units, it is the final piece in the puzzle for Gateshead Council, helping to meet the needs of both the existing network and future-proof the system for further commercial and residential development.
Cllr John McElroy, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Gateshead Council, said: “This is a bold, imaginative scheme that means we can also store and release energy when we choose, as well as supporting the National Grid, which helps raise more income to support Council services.”
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