Barn Energy installs batteries at 2 UK hydro schemes

Thrybergh hydro and battery unit 2. Source: Barn Energy and Eelpower Ltd

March 23 (Renewables Now) - Barn Energy said on Thursday it has installed batteries at two of its river hydro facilities, in what is the first co-location of battery storage with low-head river hydro schemes in the UK.

The lithium-ion batteries have a capacity of over 1,200 kWh each. They have been deployed at Thrybergh, on the Rover Don near Rotherham and at Knottingley, on the River Aire near Wakefield, with original capacity of 260 kW and 500 kW, respectively.

Barn Energy carried out the projects with its sister company, Eelpower Ltd, and the two plan to install a battery at Barn Energy's 500-kW Kirkthorpe hydro scheme on the River Calder later this year.

The two battery units were built by China's BYD and installed by Anesco. They are operating under a two-year contract to provide firm frequency response (FFR) to National Grid. The batteries will also seek to export over TRIAD days, Barn Energy said. When not performing FFR or TRIAD services, the storage systems will be used for load shifting and for trading to maximise revenues. They will be remotely controlled using Limejump's virtual power plant offering.

Both batteries were pre-qualified for the recent Capacity Market auction but opted not to take the February 2018 exit price, according to the press release.    

Mark Simon, head of Barn Energy and Eelpower, said that 60-70% of the battery consumption when performing grid balancing services such as FFR is provided for by hydropower and the balance comes from the grid. "This is a significant benefit for the economics of our battery, and of our hydropower station," Simon added.

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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