Keeping the Lights on

18 November 2020

Batteries to the rescue.

One of the isues with renewable energy is that supplies for most renewables are subject to fluctuation due to weather. 

To make renewables viable there needs to be a method of storing excess energy for consumption at a latter time. It appears that this critical issue related to effectively using renewables in a  cost effect manner is being solved.

The National Grid is actively working on this issue; a project using giant Tesla Inc. batteries was used for the first time recently to help balance supply and demand in Britain’s electricity market.

The plant is made up of six Tesla megapack batteries (15 MWh capacity) that can store energy from renewable sources to be used at times of peak consumption. The National Grid Electricity System Operator uses the balancing market to fine tune supply and demand to make sure they match exactly.

Large battery storage plants are about one-10th the size of an equivalent  gas-fired unit (These are often used to cater for peaks in demand).

A new computer system used by National Grid is allowing batteries to be used in the balancing market more easily. Batteries can draw electricity from the network when wind or solar supply is plentiful or even beyond what’s needed, and store it for use at times of peak demand.





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