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18/09/2017

Battery storage scheme completed in Gateshead

Words: Laura Edgar
Battery storage / Shutterstock_539253694

The installation of one of the country’s largest commercial battery storage schemes has been completed for Gateshead Council.

The project, undertaken by Centrica’s Distributed Energy and Power business, stores and releases energy for Gateshead District Energy Centre, which opened earlier this year.

It will be capable of responding to any fluctuations in demand in under a second, said the company.

The battery scheme, which has a total capacity of 3 megawatts, comprises six units that hold the equivalent of one million AA battery cells. According to Centrica, the facility can store enough power to meet the needs of 3,000 homes for one hour.

Once commissioned, Centrica said it will manage the project under a 10-year contract. In time, the facility is expected to help meet the peaks in local demand, providing electricity through a private wire to council-owned buildings and Tyneside buildings, including Gateshead College and the Sage Gateshead concert venue.

The Gateshead District Energy Centre consists of a pair of 2MW combined heat and power units that generate enough electricity to power 5,000 homes. The power is distributed through a private wire network consisting of high-voltage electricity cables. Any waste heat from the engines is recovered to provide hot water for heating through a three-kilometre network of heat pipes.

Alan Barlow, UK&I director for Centrica Distributed Energy and Power, said the energy centre demonstrates how distributed energy solutions can generate cost savings and strengthen resilience by bringing together battery storage and other energy technologies."

John McElroy, Gateshead Council's cabinet member for environment and transport, said: "This battery installation completes the wider District Energy Scheme, which will provide low-cost heat and power to homes, organisations and businesses in central Gateshead.

"It's a bold, imaginative scheme that means we can also store and release power when we choose, as well as supporting the National Grid, which helps raise more income to support council services."

The partnership between Gateshead Council and Centrica has also seen the installation of 2MW of solar panels on 34 public buildings in the town.


Related:

Europe’s ‘largest’ community battery to be installed in Nottingham


Image credit | Shutterstock

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