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UK’s first DC-coupled battery energy storage system to be connected at wind-solar park

Credit: GE

GE Renewable Energy announced this week that it has been selected by Wykes to deliver a 25-MW multiple hour duration Energy Storage Systems, to be integrated with Wykes’ Solar PV plant at the Chelveston Renewable Energy Park, in the United Kingdom. The site currently operates with 60 MW of solar energy and 26 MW of wind energy that use GE’s 2.85-MW onshore wind turbines.

Wykes will use GE’s Reservoir Energy Storage technology to add another 60 MW of solar capacity, for a total of 120 MW of solar and 146 MW from the wind-solar park. 

The storage system will be the UK’s first direct-DC-coupled solar deployment where the solar panels and the batteries will share a common set of power conversion equipment. This will help improve the overall energy output of the solar-storage hybrid system while optimizing costs and increasing the overall system reliability and flexibility, according to GE.

With the reservoir energy storage system Wykes have full flexibility for today’s market circumstances and future market dynamics, said GE.  It allows Wykes to optimize the energy it generates on site and gives it the flexibility to choose how and when the energy generated is used.  

Scott Coleman, Process and Controls Engineering Manager, Wykes Engineering Ltd said “As part of our ongoing relationship with GE Renewable Energy, we selected their power storage system as it was flexible, scalable and allowed us to perform a range of tasks enabling us to provide resilient services, not only to the National Grid, but to our private energy consumers within our expanding on-site grid.”

Prakash Chandra, Renewable Hybrids CEO, GE Renewable Energy, said: “The world is increasingly moving to generate more dispatchable renewables using hybrid solutions – combining the power of standalone technologies like wind and solar with storage through controls and software.”

The UK Government recently announced that it will make it easier to construct projects to store renewable energy from solar and wind farms across the UK as part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases by 2050.  There are currently 4 GW of storage projects in planning in addition to the 1 GW of battery storage already in operation in the UK.