Thrive invests in first battery storage project

  • Posted: 16 Dec 2020

Increased flexibility on the grid will support further renewables growth.

We’re pleased to announce the purchase of a battery storage project located in Wicken, just outside Milton Keynes. At 5MW, Wicken will be our first battery storage project. Construction will start soon and is due to be completed by summer 2021. It will be monitored and maintained by local contractors.

Battery storage is an essential part of the UK’s journey to net zero, providing vital flexibility to the electricity grid. As we move towards a renewables dominated electricity system, balancing services are needed so we can store electricity when wind and solar energy are abundant and release it during peak times when consumer usage increases.

Wicken will participate in wholesale market trading, charging the batteries when electricity is cheap, and exporting it to the grid when prices rise. It will also take part in future capacity market auctions to provide balancing services to the National Grid, which is responsible for balancing supply and demand perfectly at all times. The battery can also provide balancing services to the local distribution network. If it needs more capacity, then projects such as Wicken will be called on to provide this electricity at a pre-agreed set price. The project can provide 1.49 hours of electricity, or 7.45MWh, to the grid when needed.

“We’re very pleased to announce our first investment into battery storage technology, providing flexibility to the electricity grid and preparing the UK for a renewable dominated future. We see battery storage as a key part of enabling further deployment of wind and solar power. This year we have invested in new geothermal, solar, and hydro projects to add to our existing portfolio, delivering on our mission to help power the UK’s transition to clean energy.” Matthew Clayton, Managing Director, Thrive Renewables

“We’re delighted to announce the sale of our first self-developed 5MW battery storage project to Thrive Renewables and we very much look forward to working closely with the Thrive team to ensure the successful completion of this project. Eclipse Power Generation will perform construction project management services throughout the build & asset management & O&M services upon energisation. Eclipse Power Generation specialise in the development of electrical power producing projects to support the UK’s ongoing need for energy, providing flexible systems that can react and be deployed rapidly at times of need.” Steven Gay, Development Director at Eclipse Power Generation

Wicken can also provide frequency response services to the National Grid. As electricity is transported across the country from generators to our homes, it must maintain a steady frequency at all times. Traditionally these services have only been provided by fossil fuel generators. But as the UK moves towards net zero, sustainable methods of providing these services, such as battery storage, must be used.

Battery storage enables Thrive to not only support the growth of renewables on the grid, but also further diversify our portfolio which now encompasses onshore wind, hydro, solar, geothermal and renewable heat.