The technology group Wärtsilä will supply 100MW / 200MWh of energy storage systems to Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, for its next two projects in the West Midlands, England, to support the roll-out of Pivot Power’s innovative Energy Superhub model. Wärtsilä will install batteries at two sites in the city of Coventry and the borough of Sandwell, on the outskirts of Birmingham. The order was booked by Wärtsilä in Q2 2021. Construction is due to commence at Sandwell in Q4 2021 and at Coventry in Q1 2022.
These new systems are a continuation of Wärtsilä’s strong track record of collaboration with Pivot Power. Wärtsilä is already delivering 100MW of energy storage for two Pivot Power projects – Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO), where Wärtsilä is providing 50MW of energy storage systems, and a further 50MW in Kemsley, Kent.
The ESO project will include the world’s largest lithium-ion and vanadium-flow hybrid grid-scale energy storage system, in partnership with Invinity Energy Systems. The hybrid battery is supporting the development of a high-powered EV charging network delivering power to key locations across the city, and will share a connection to the high-voltage electricity transmission network.
Energy storage is crucial to meet the UK Government’s new 2035 target to reduce emissions by 78%. To reach this, all electricity production will need to be zero carbon by 2035. The Energy Superhub projects will help enhance the reliability of the UK’s electricity system and cost-effectively integrate more renewable generation. The Energy Superhub network could provide up to 10% of the storage capacity the UK is predicted to need by 2050 and will help to create a smarter, more flexible grid, which could save up to GBP 40 billion.
Wärtsilä will supply the cutting-edge energy storage technology for both West Midlands projects, underpinned by its world-leading GEMS Digital Energy Platform, which dynamically optimises energy systems, providing critical feedback to stakeholders across asset owner, operation and trading value chains. These projects with Pivot Power are an important part of Wärtsilä’s ambition to enable a 100% renewable energy system in the UK by providing essential grid flexibility, and builds on the companies’ first two projects together in Oxford and Kent.
Matt Allen, CEO of Pivot Power, said: “This is the next step in our nationwide rollout of Energy Superhubs which will create the low carbon infrastructure needed to support the EV and renewable energy revolution. As part of EDF Renewables, Pivot Power’s purpose is to accelerate a net zero future where clean energy powers our lives. We are working hand in hand with local authorities to help them meet their climate and clean air pledges, so people can live and work in cleaner, more sustainable cities.”
Andy Tang, Vice President, Energy Storage & Optimisation, Wärtsilä, said: “Flexibility is the key to achieving 100% renewables and decarbonising the economy. Our energy storage systems help leading innovators like Pivot Power turn these ambitions into reality. The enhanced flexibility this project will provide is precisely what we need to accelerate our cost-optimal pathway to 100% renewable energy. This second partnership project with Pivot Power shows Wärtsilä’s commitment to helping the UK decarbonise its electricity generation and means we can roll out more energy storage infrastructure to support the UK grid.”
The UK is an optimal market opportunity for energy storage. Research from Wärtsilä found that income received by energy storage providers in the UK was up by 21% during the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020. The variable market conditions during the lockdown presented an example of what the UK’s energy system could look like as more renewable energy is adopted and supported by energy storage. These findings were uncovered by the Wärtsilä Energy Transition Lab data from 24 March – 23 April 2020.