Jan 2013
Electricity Distribution
Smarter Network Storage (SNS)
Jan 2013
Dec 2016
UK Power Networks
UKPN Innovation Team
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LCN Fund Tier 2
Energy Storage and Demand Response
The transition to a low-carbon electricity sector will create a range of challenges for distribution networks and the wider electricity system. Cost effective forms of flexibility will be required as an alternative to the significant reinforcement otherwise needed to accommodate increased demand peaks and a more intermittent and inflexible supply-side. Energy storage is one such source of flexibility and, as identified by the Smart Grid Forum, is one of the key smart interventions likely to feature in the future smart grid.

Challenges in leveraging the full potential of storage on distribution networks across a number of other industry applications, and a lack of scale demonstrations are currently hampering the efficient and economic uptake of storage by the electricity sector. The SNS project will tackle these core challenges, demonstrating the multi-purpose application of 6MW/10MWh of energy storage at Leighton Buzzard primary substation, and deferring £8.6m of traditional reinforcement.

Novel commercial arrangements with other key industry participants and a unique smart optimisation & control system will be developed to maximise the value of the storage across the system. Once proven successful, replication of the method across GB could conservatively provide savings of over £0.7bn by 2040 compared to business-as-usual approaches. This trial will provide important analysis on the range of future business models for storage, model contracts for optimising the use of flexibility, and improved understanding of the economics of storage for DNOs ahead of the smart grid transition across RIIO-ED1 and RIIO-ED2.

The project aims to bring together a number of technical and commercial components:

  • Deployment of large-scale distribution-connected energy storage

  • Implementation of a smart optimisation & control system in order to manage and optimise the storage flexibility

  • Innovative commercial arrangements to support the shared use of energy storage in providing wider system benefits, including standby reserve and managing frequency

  • Assessment and validation of the full value that storage can provide to DNOs and the wider system to support future business models for storage.