Scottish Power Renewables, Iberdrola’s subsidiary in the UK, has awarded Ingeteam the contract for the supply of the company’s biggest ever ion-lithium battery storage system.
The project will provide back-up for the UK’s biggest onshore wind farm at Whitelee near Glasgow. Its storage capacity will be 50 million Watt-hours, equivalent to the average hourly power consumption of 150,000 homes.
Ingeteam is to supply the control system, the power converters and the ion-lithium batteries. The facility is intended mainly to expand the wind farm’s ability to manage the energy delivered to the grid at all times.
With the type of storage system to be installed at the Whitelee wind farm, Iberdrola will be able to take part in the frequency regulation market of the UK national grid. It will also serve to assure supply capacity with an optimal balance of generation and consumption, and will enable the wind farm to be commissioned with its grid powered down and isolated from the main grid.
The plant is expected to come online at the end of this year, with testing to ensure compliance with TSO grid code (UK electric system operator) due to be completed in the first quarter of 2021
The control system and power converters ensure that the battery charges and discharges properly. During troughs in demand for power from households and industry the wind farm can continue producing electricity at peak capacity, and the surplus clean energy generated can be stored in the battery. When demand is lower than the peak generation capacity of the turbines at the wind farm in existing wind conditions, the opportunity to generate clean energy is not lost. Surplus energy is stored in the battery. When energy demand exceeds clean generation capacity in existing wind conditions, the plant can make up the shortfall by feeding in energy from its batteries to supplement that produced by the turbines.
Electricity is generated as A/C and must be converted to D/C to be charged into the ion-lithium battery, where it is actually stored in the form of chemical energy. When demand from consumers for electricity increases, the control system sends a command to the power converter to draw energy to meet excess demand from the battery and deliver it to the grid.