The 20 megawatt (MW) battery system that RES will provide to the U.K.’s National Grid represents the largest planned battery project to provide frequency regulation in the country – a trend that IHS predicts will continue in the coming years.
After several years of rapid price reduction, large-scale batteries are increasingly being considered an attractive alternative to conventional thermal generators that provide electricity grid balancing services — in particular, frequency regulation. Average lithium ion (Li-ion) battery prices have fallen by over 60 percent in the last four years, largely because of growing competition in the stationary and automotive battery sector.
Because of their extremely fast response, high efficiency and long-life, Li-ion batteries have quickly established themselves as the leading battery technology for these types of applications. To date the majority of such systems have been developed in the United States, Germany, South Korea and Japan. Aided by the National Grid’s upcoming tender for 200 MW of “enhanced frequency response,” and with quickly rising demand for batteries to store surplus solar power in homes, IHS expects nearly 1 gigawatt (GW) of batteries will be installed in the United Kingdom’s grid by 2020.
By Sam Wilkinson, Senior Research Manager, Solar and Energy Storage