In what is described as a "landmark" decision, UK energy regulator Ofgem has allowed the co-location of storage at several solar farms under the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme.
The decision means that Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) can be received on all the renewable electricity generated, including that used to charge the batteries.
Ofgem, the administrator of the RO support mechanism, which is now closed to new projects, has made the determination with respect to three solar sites of UK renewable energy company Anesco. The solar farms, in Northampton, Chesterfield and Stratford-upon-Avon, are of 5 MW each and are connected with 1.1-MWh batteries. According to Anesco executive chairman Steve Shine the decision is a game changer for the UKs energy storage market.
"The recent decisions demonstrate that, where the necessary criteria are met, co-location of storage facilities at accredited renewable installations is possible under the current legislative framework," said Luke Hargreaves, head of renewables at Ofgem.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Hargreaves says the storage can play a bigger role in matching supply and demand in the future. Around 550 MW of storage has contracted to be commissioned by 2020, and a large part of that may be sited next to renewable energy installations, according to the post.
Ofgem plans to publish guidance on storage considerations under the RO and feed-in tariff (FiT) schemes later in 2017 and will be seeking stakeholder feedback.