26/07/2022 – Energy / Wärtsilä / Wartsila / Power / Battery / Technology / Pivot / Oxford / UK

Wärtsilä supplies battery to Pivot Power as part of cutting-edge Energy Superhub Oxford project
Wärtsilä supplies battery to Pivot Power as part of cutting-edge Energy Superhub Oxford project

Technology group Wärtsilä has supplied a 50 MW / 50 MWh lithium-ion battery to Pivot Power – part of EDF Renewables – which has developed a cutting-edge hybrid battery site in Oxford, UK. 

The hybrid battery system – officially launched this week at the opening of Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) – will play an essential role in the UK’s shift to renewables. 

The hybrid battery combines Wärtsilä’s 50 MW / 50 MWh lithium-ion battery with Invinity’s 2 MW / 5 MWh vanadium-flow battery. The system will be controlled and dispatched by Wärtsilä’s GEMS Digital Energy Platform and optimised by Habitat’s AI-enabled battery trading system, with the project being owned and developed by Pivot Power

First-of-its-kind hybrid battery in the UK

The hybrid battery is the first of its kind in the UK, designed to fulfil multiple energy storage needs and support the ramp-up of renewable energy required to reach the UK’s targets of 50GW of offshore wind and 70GW of solar capacity by the 2030s. It is also the first in the UK to be directly connected to the National Grid’s high-voltage transmission network at the Cowley substation on the outskirts of Oxford, with the UK’s largest flow battery providing a unique overdrive function that allows it to be operated at higher power levels for sustained periods of time.

The site forms one part of the £41 million Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) project. ESO integrates energy storage, electric vehicle (EV) charging, low carbon heating, and smart energy management technologies to decarbonise Oxford by 2040 and create a blueprint for other towns and cities to achieve net zero. The hybrid battery system is a short distance from the Redbridge Park and Ride, where the project’s EV charging hub is located, and can provide backup power for the EV charging infrastructure.

Supporting the shift to small-scale decentralised generation

Wärtsilä has provided both the lithium-ion battery and GEMS Digital Energy Platform for the project. The GEMS system has been optimised for hybrid system control, managing significant complexities across battery chemistries and asset integration. GEMS supports the shift to small-scale decentralised generation by enabling the delivery of different services, from frequency regulation to enhanced grid resilience, as well as providing critical feedback to stakeholders across asset owner, operation, and trading value chains.

“Shifting power systems to net zero whilst ensuring that the lights stay on is an incredibly complex task,” advised Kenneth Engblom, Vice President of Europe and Africa at Wärtsilä Energy. “The hybrid battery system is solving these problems at multiple levels, helping to supercharge the UK’s path to net zero. Wärtsilä’s technology is the cornerstone of this acceleration, helping to support decarbonisation across the entire country.”

Matt Allen, CEO of Pivot Power, stressed the need for urgent solutions to decarbonise the electricity system and “unlock the full potential” of the UK’s abundant renewable energy sources. “Energy storage is the missing piece of this puzzle,” he noted. “Our hybrid battery combines innovative technology to meet various needs across the power sector. By underpinning homegrown renewable energy, Pivot Power is helping the UK to create a power system that is clean, secure, and able to meet the demands of the future.”

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