LONDON -- Samsung SDI Co., a maker of lithium-ion batteries, and S&C Electric Co. will develop an energy storage project in the U.K. as authorities spur work on an electric grid that can handle more renewables.
Samsung SDI will supply lithium-ion batteries at a substation in Bedfordshire, England, said Andrew Jones, the managing director of S&C Electric Company Europe Ltd. The 18.7 million-pound ($28.6 million) project will store as much as 10 megawatt-hours of power.
The venture will help Britain’s efforts to develop the commercial-scale energy storage it needs to add wind and solar plants, whose power flows are intermittent. The government garnered criticism from the Electricity Storage Network industry group, which has saids Britain is not providing incentives for the technology developed by companies including ABB Ltd.
“It’s the only potentially green technology that does not have a subsidy, which we’re trying to lobby the government on,” Jones said by phone. “This is an easy way to add capacity into the network.”
The technology may save as much as 300 million pounds a year if 2 gigawatts of storage is installed by 2020, according to the Electricity Storage Network. The technology is still at the demonstration phase.
U.K. Power Networks Holdings Ltd., the network operator, is leading the project at its Leighton Buzzard primary substation. The battery will charge during times of low demand and release power when needs are greatest, Jones said. It will smooth power flows to the grid, allowing more space for renewable generation.
The project will defer about 6 million pounds of investments otherwise required to reinforce networks, said Nick Heyward, commercial manager at U.K. Power Networks. The project design includes potential expansion to about 18 megawatt-hours, he said. It already won 13.2 million pounds from energy regulator Ofgem.
Copyright 2013 Bloomberg
Lead image: Test via Shutterstock