Grid services

Battery storage is going to revolutionise the energy landscape by providing the flexibility necessary to integrate increasing levels of intermittent renewables while maintaining security of supply.

Statkraft, with one of the world’s largest Virtual Power Plants, is ideally positioned to manage flexible assets using its advanced algorithmic trading infrastructure in real time. This approach maximises the value of the assets in all available physical markets while supporting the further integration of renewables.

Tynemouth battery facility

Tynemouth battery facility

Ancillary Services from Wind

In order for the power system to work reliably, it needs a range of ancillary services such as fast reserves to cover short term variations in supply and demand, reactive power to manage the transmission system voltage. Traditionally such services were sourced from conventional power plant, but this is becoming less practical as EirGrid operate the system with more and more wind.

EirGrid introduced a suite of 14 new or amended services, setting a fixed tariff for each, under their DS3 Programme. To reduce or eliminate the need to run costly fossil fuel plants for reserves and reactive power, some wind turbine manufacturers have recently developed new technology and control systems that allow wind turbines to deliver fast reserves and reactive power to the same standard as fossil fuel plant.

The Statkraft Ireland team has been leading the deployment of this technology, having participated in the initial technology trials, and then being the first to implement the full range of ancillary services on the Statkraft managed wind fleet. This is a win-win, with the electricity consumer seeing lower costs, the power system CO2 emissions being reduced, and the wind farm owner securing a small additional source of revenue without impacting on their day to day energy production.

Statkraft can now offer a service to new and existing wind farms to deploy these ancillary services (sometimes known as DS3 Services).

Batteries

Recent falls in Li-Ion battery prices mean that standalone battery installations can now also deliver DS3 ancillary services on a cost effective basis. The Statkraft UK team has experience of building a number of batteries ranging from 6MW to 25MW in the UK over the last 3 years. The team has secured a range of sites in both UK and Ireland close to strong grid connections. These batteries will offer a wide range of services to the power system, from fast reserves through to reactive power.

The batteries will also participate in the balancing market, helping to manage the inevitable fluctuations that occur in the energy market to account for varying forecasts of demand, wind and power plant availability. Batteries can typically deliver their full power for 1-2hours, which also allows them to participate in the capacity market, ensuring that there is enough generation capacity to deal with the short term peak demand, typically seen in December each year.

EirGrid’s recent Tomorrow’s Energy Scenarios identified the need for substantial investment in new storage technologies. IWEA’s 70by30 paper also analysed how the Irish power system could efficiently operate with up to 70% of annual electricity production coming from variable renewable sources such as wind. Batteries and interconnection were identified as key enabling technologies. Internationally investment in Li-Ion battery technology driven by the move to electric vehicles means that battery technology has been rapidly falling in price and is expected to continue to do so. Statkraft sees a strong future in batteries as a crucial part of future power systems, especially in markets dominated by wind and solar.