A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced batteries and systems, is set to supply six Grid Battery Systems (GBSs) to Northern Powergrid, an electricity distribution network operator that delivers power to more than 3.8 million customers in the U.K. to enable smarter power delivery.
The GBSs are designed for peak-load shifting in order to manage fluctuations in voltage on the national grid. The systems will be deployed as part of the Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR), a project funded by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks Fund, to help develop a smart grid capable of handling the transition to a low-carbon economy.
To better manage voltage regulation requirements and maintain grid stability and power quality, Northern Power Grid are adding a 2.5MW system, two 100kW systems and three 50kW systems. Each system is designed to maintain these power capabilities for up to two hours, adding flexibility to the distribution network and helping to provide consistent delivery of reliable power to customers
This follows a decision in December 2011 by an Hawaiian wind project developer to use batteries produced by A123 to firm up power delivery into the grid. The Auwahi Wind project, which has a generating capacity of 21 megawatts, will be buttressed by a giant battery bank able to deliver 11 megawatts of power. The arrays are built around shipping container-size battery banks, helping to make renewable energy farms a more reliable source of electricity.
One of the advantages of lithium ion batteries is that they are able to supply lots of power very quickly. This is why Lithium ion batteries are making inroads into the renewable energy business. A123 Systems said its power electronics can detect fluctuations in supply and be able to send 11 megwawatts of power in milliseconds.