Leading renewable energy consultancy and service provider Natural Power has been appointed by Zenobē to support its 100 MW battery storage project in Capenhurst, Chester. Once built this will be the largest transmission connected battery in Europe and the first in the world to absorb reactive power directly from the grid to enable excess power to be stored and released only when required.
Natural Power will be providing grid code compliance services through its ControlCentre. This includes the provision of remote-control telephony enabling it to interface with the National Grid. Natural Power will also provide high voltage support services to the project’s 33kV network including the provision of safety rules, 24/7 standby, and SAP support for planned and reactive work.
Kevin Armstrong, head of ControlCentre at Natural Power, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to support this ground-breaking project. Whilst our ControlCentre is a well-established resource, we’re continuing to broaden our support for new technologies, and will be further enhancing our dynamic grid balancing capabilities by optimising our ControlCentre resources and systems as well as further developing our services for both solar and battery energy storage client offerings.
“Zenobē is a world leader in its field with this project, and we’re proud to be helping facilitate the delivery of this new technology.”
Alistair Parlett, head of asset management, added: “Our locally-based team of HV field staff, working closely with our ControlCentre team and the client, will help ensure the safe and efficient operation of this exciting project.”
The Capenhurst site is currently under construction and is due to be completed by summer 2022. Once operational, the site will secure the power supply for the Mersey region with a reactive power service at a substantially lower cost to consumers. It will also save more than a million tonnes of CO2 during the course of the next 15 years.
The demand for reactive power services to help manage voltage levels is growing due to the rapid uptake of renewable power generation. As part of its Pathfinder programme, National Grid, the UK’s electricity system operator (ESO), conducted a tender for the provision of reactive power in the Mersey region of the UK. This provided an opportunity for new technology businesses to demonstrate how their solutions deliver better outcomes for the environment and consumers than traditional providers.
Zenobē’s specialist high voltage engineering team worked with its supply chain partners to optimise not only the absorption of reactive power but also active power services that run concurrently. This innovative design, which included a direct connection onto the 275 kV bay, has enabled the stacking of multiple active power, capacity and voltage services to deliver the lowest cost to the consumer and to make a significant reduction in carbon emissions. The solution results in minimal impact on the environment and local community whilst adding several habitat enhancements.
James Basden, co-founder and director at Zenobē, said: “This project is a significant milestone in delivering the UK’s net zero commitments, and a great example of the pioneering solutions businesses like ours can bring to the table when industry innovation is encouraged by up-to-date legislation. The Natural Power team brings leading grid code compliance services and a wealth of energy industry experience, helping us provide a reliable and secure reactive power service to the Mersey area. As we move to a cleaner energy system, batteries like this one will play a vital role in stabilising the grid, pushing energy prices down, and ultimately enabling a greener, more sustainable Britain.
Natural Power’s ControlCentre provides services to wind, solar and HV infrastructure projects, remotely managing assets for clients 24/7, 365 days a year to make sure they stay operational and safe. It currently monitors 125 asset management contracts and a further 66 contracts specifically for HV services.
About our HV services
Natural Power’s asset management team provides HV management services to 66 projects in the UK at connection voltages ranging from 11 kV to 400 kV with associated technologies such as onshore and offshore wind and battery energy storage.