Newly created VLC Energy has announced a multi-million pound investment in two energy storage facilities to be built in the UK by the end of the year.
Energy storage facilities effectively act like large batteries, available to be drawn on as back up power if grid capacity is ever over stretched. They are an important step towards a greener grid overall, and can help overcome problems with intermittent supply often associated with renewable generators like wind or solar farms.
VLC is a joint venture from CHP (combined heat and power) plant firm VPI Immingham and green investment company Low Carbon. This first project – investing in the construction and installation of two large storage facilities – is set to be the first of many. All in all, some £250 million is set to be invested by the group in the development of “energy storage and distributed power-generation projects in the UK”, Bloomberg reported.
The two facilities set to come online this year have a collective capacity of 50MW. The first, in Creator in Cumbria, will have 10MW capacity; the other in Glassenbury in Kent will have 40MW capacity.
These first two facilities have already been awarded contracts as part of National Grid’s EFR (enhanced frequency response) tender. Under the terms of these contracts, they must be available to provide power at just a second’s notice.
The chairman of VPI Inningham, which is a part of the commodity trading Vitol Group, explained that these new storage facilities fit well with theirs and Low Carbon’s longer term aims regarding a greener future for the energy industry.
Russell hardy said: “We’re pleased to be entering into an exclusive, strategic partnership with Low Carbon that will enable us to grow our investments in alternative energy in the UK. Batteries perfectly complement renewables and gas and together offer a cleaner, more efficient energy future for the UK.”