15 February 2018

Connected Energy's February '18 News Round-up

We ask if this is the end of grid constraints and review some notable energy successes.

The end of grid constraints?

According to National Grid, grid constraints are 'congestion in the transmission system,' that prevent surplus power being transmitted to parts of the country where it could be used best.

Balancing the network, minimising such constraints and ensuring supply and demand are matched second by second is one of the most crucial things that batteries, the new flexible grid and energy storage seek to achieve.

And this month, a consortium of companies from the energy, flexibility, technology and engineering worlds has been formed in a bid to bring a flexibility trading platform to market.

The move illustrates just how seriously top UK players are taking the energy revolution. They are keen to limit constraints as far as possible, and of course make money from so doing.

Clean Energy News is reporting that Baringa, EDF, Flexitricity, KiWi Power, Northern Powergrid, Open Energi, Shell, Statkraft, UK Power Networks and Electron will collaborate to develop and commercialise the flexibility trading platform.

The consortium aims to harness the experiences and knowledge of its members to develop the framework, which will allow for coordinated trading of balancing and other grid products, with a view to helping maintain frequency.

Last September Electron confirmed that it had received funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for the platform, which is also supported by system operator National Grid and engineering giant Siemens.

Clean Energy News also points out that in Kent, new generators currently face significant connection charges due to constraints on the network.

Right now, the region has a diverse mix of energy generators. Large amounts of renewables, Europe-bound interconnectors and the 1.2GW Dungeness B nuclear power station all contribute towards the region’s generation, but towards challenges with balancing also.

At Connected Energy, we are constantly monitoring the development of our energy systems, to track the key changes and futureproof our customers.

This month, it looks to us as if battling grid constraints is at the very top of the energy order list.

Energy storage success

Elsewhere, renews is reporting that battery storage has won 97.5MW of T-1 capacity market contracts for delivery next winter from National Grid.

Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit Analyst Jonathan Marshall said: “Coal-fired generation in the UK is in freefall, and more plant closures, as expected by the Government, will see this continue.

“The terminal decline of coal power is coming at the right time, whenever cheaper renewables are able to fill in the gap, and concerns about air pollution spread around the country.”

And in other storage news, Nissan has launched a new energy solution for UK homes, combining solar panels with an energy storage system.

EDIE reports the Nissan Energy Solar system will allow homeowners to collect and store excess energy from their solar panels and use it during the night. Customers could make up to 66% savings on their energy bills.

“Nissan Energy Solar is just one step in supporting our commitment to investing in innovative energy solutions for a more sustainable future and intelligent way of living,” Nissan Energy Managing Director Francisco Carranza said.

In wider moves, Nissan is committed to trialling and assessing microgrid systems across Europe in 2018, to examine how local communities can gain access to sustainable energy sources, by combining renewable energy and battery storage technologies.

All in all, the sector continues its rapidly paced schedule of disruptive development. The game is constantly changing; while the opportunities are massive, intelligent analysis of trends remains key.

Connected Energy will therefore continue to alert you to the next set of developments, as we monitor the markets heading into March.