Battery storage, or battery energy storage systems (BESS), are rechargeable batteries that can store energy from different sources and then release power when customers need it most. It’s an exciting time for Vital as we’ve recently installed four 2MW BESS at acute hospital sites across the UK.
Commercial Structuring Manager, Stewart Williams, has been involved in the procurement of our batteries and is playing a key role in the research and development of batteries and energy storage. He’s investigating emerging battery technologies for use in future projects too!
Stewart shares 5 things you may not know about battery storage…
A useful analogy to understand GW vs GWh
Power Capacity (GW) vs Energy Capacity (GWh) explained. Energy is the ability to cause change; power is the rate energy is moved, or used – think of a bath, the rate the water runs down the plughole is power capacity (maximum power discharged at a given time) and the amount of water the bathtub holds is energy capacity (total amount of energy able to be stored).
How many homes can the current UK battery fleet power?
At the end of June 2023, the operational UK battery fleet stood at 3GW in power capacity, up 25% from January, and 3.4GWh in energy capacity, an increase of 30% since the start of the year, and both from a nominal position in 2016. The UK battery fleet is forecasted to reach over 5GWh in energy capacity by the end of 2023, which would be enough to power 600,000 homes for a full day.
UK battery storage pipeline
The pipeline for battery storage schemes in the UK is now at 71GW/110GWh, up 15% from 61.5GW in January. This includes 24GW/40GWh with planning approval and 2.8GW/4.9GWh already being constructed. There is still marginal difference in GW/GWh for operational (peak chasing) assets, but now a significant difference for pipeline schemes with the emergence of longer duration storage assets.
Government investment in battery
Recent data shows that nearly a fifth of the UK government’s total energy technologies investment must be spent on energy storage between 2025 and 2030 to meet renewables targets. Almost 10% of grid capacity in the UK will be provided by battery storage by 2030, costing an estimated £20 billion.
Europe’s largest battery is in the UK
The largest live Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) by energy capacity in Europe as at the beginning of 2023 is in the UK, in Yorkshire. This stores up to 196MWh or enough to power around 300,000 homes for 2 hours. For context, each of the four 2MW/2MWh BESS we’ve installed at NHS sites across the UK would store enough power to boil nearly 22,000 kettles…
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Learn more about Vital’s battery projects:
Commercial Structuring Manager, Stewart Williams