Iberdrola moves forward with its largest battery storage system

In order to prevent extreme heatwaves, rising sea levels, droughts, and other effects of climate change, urgent action must be taken. Governments, NGOs, and businesses need to work together to support the switch to renewable energy sources and clean energy technologies, such as batteries.

Today, Ingeteam said that Scottish Power Renewables, Iberdrola’s subsidiary in the UK,  awarded it a contract to supply equipment for Iberdrola’s biggest ever lithium-ion battery storage system. The project will provide back-up for the UK’s biggest on-shore wind farm, the 539-MW Whitelee wind farm near Glasgow.

The storage capacity of the Ingeteam system will be 50 million watt-hours (50 MWh), equivalent to the average hourly power consumption of 150,000 homes.

Ingeteam will supply the control system, the power converters and the batteries. The facility is intended mainly to expand the wind farm’s ability to manage the energy delivered to the grid at all times and with it, Iberdrola will be able to take part in the UK national grid frequency regulation market. It will also enable the wind farm to be commissioned with its grid powered down and isolated from the main grid.  

The plant is expected to come online at the end of this year, with testing to ensure compliance with TSO grid code (UK electric system operator) due to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

The control systems and power converters covered by this agreement will be based on the Ingeteam Group’s own in-house technology, and the order will be placed with the newly opened plant in Ortuella (Bizkaia).

The system to be supplied by Ingeteam is similar to a laptop battery, though a million times bigger, said the company.

The control system and power converters ensure that the battery charges and discharges properly. During troughs in demand for power from households and industry the wind farm can continue producing electricity at peak capacity, and the surplus clean energy generated can be stored in the battery. When energy demand exceeds clean generation capacity in existing wind conditions, the plant can make up the shortfall by feeding in energy from its batteries to supplement that produced by the turbines.

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com

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