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A 50MW grid-scale battery storage system developed by Pivot Power becomes operational.

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The 50MW lithium-ion battery storage system was developed using Wärtsilä’s GEMS Digital Platform, which will help optimise hybrid system control. The hybrid battery solution will use both lithium-ion and vanadium redox flow systems and is being developed by Pivot Power. It will be an integration of energy storage, electric vehicle (EV) charging, low carbon heating, and smart energy systems with the flexibility to cost-effectively integrate more renewables, increase system resilience, and future-proof the UK’s electricity network.

The battery storage system was commissioned in June 2021 and is expected to become operational by the end of 2021. It will also connect to the National Grid’s high-voltage transmission system at the Cowley substation. The project will contribute towards Oxford decarbonisation by 2040. The government-funded it through the £41 million Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) project. Pivot Power plans to roll out 40 other similar sites across the UK.

Present at the inauguration was Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, who said that this £41 million project is the world’s first of its kind and the first step in laying a foundation to achieving net-zero emissions by 2040 or sooner. He mentioned that Oxford is at the centre of the British’s efforts in innovating green technologies and is home to Energy Superhub Oxford.

In addition to the battery energy storage system, Pivot Power is developing an 8km private wire network that will deliver power to the public and commercial EV charging station across the city via connecting to a high-voltage transmission network. The first public charging station will be located in Redbridge Park & Ride with 8 fast to ultra-rapid chargers.

Moreover, the use of GEMS will allow for the management of all integrated energy systems by enabling the delivery of different services from frequency regulation to enhanced grid resilience using various applications. Thus providing vital feedback to stakeholders across asset owner, operation, and trading value chains. GEMS can also supply backup power to EV charging infrastructure connected to Pivot Power’s private wire network.

Involved in the project was Habitat Energy, a battery storage optimisation specialist that will optimise battery trading and revenue generation using their AI-enabled PowerIQ platform. This will provide the optimal outcome to seize the best available opportunities in the day-ahead market, intraday and balancing mechanism while providing ancillary services such as Dynamic Containment. In addition, Habit Energy will manage EV charging and allow for its optimisation to benefit the grid while maximising end-customer value.

Pivot Power CEO Matt Allen said the project is the first grid-scale battery to be directly connected to the transmission network in the UK. He also said the project represents a key milestone for the completion of Energy Superhub Oxford and the company’s mission to accelerate the UK towards net zero. He mentioned the company is also planning 40 more similar projects all over the UK, totalling up to 2GW of battery storage. This will accelerate EDF’s plan to develop an additional 10GW of battery storage globally by 2035.

On the other hand, Wärtsilä’ s, Energy Business Director, Europe Pekka Tolonenat, said that the company was determined to contribute towards helping the country transition towards 100% renewables. He went on to say that grid flexibility and energy efficiency were integral in ensuring the county achieves its net-zero targets in a cost-effective, sustainable and resilient way.

He further said “ Our GEMS platform enables Energy Superhub Oxford’s energy storage system to operate in a truly dynamic way, responding to the demands of the market and improving power reliability. We believe this unique collaboration is a blueprint for the use of energy storage throughout the UK and Europe.”

Andrew Luers, Co-Founder, and CEO of Habitat Energy, said:

“It has been our pleasure working with Pivot Power and the other partners in this project, and we are delighted to see it now become a reality. Habitat Energy’s PowerIQ optimisation software and expert trading team are delivering exceptional revenue generation from battery storage assets across the UK, and soon also in Australia and other countries. We are excited to further demonstrate our capability on this, our first transmission-connected system, and shortly also on the long-duration redox flow battery.”

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