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Solar Storage

Funding Mechanism
Network Innovation Allowance (NIA)

Starts - Ends
April 2015 - April 2018

Estimated Expenditure
£1.75 million

Research Area
Energy Storage and Demand Response


The objectives of this project are to:

  1. Quantify the potential value to network operators and others of integrating storage with DG;
  2. Use real-world operation of integrated utility scale storage: generation system to provide data to regulators and potential investors; and
  3. Demonstrate safe, reliable operation of the system under operational conditions.


While battery storage costs are falling, the case for investment is often difficult to make based on providing services to National Grid alone.  This project looks at the additional services that could be provided to DNOs or to a solar site co-located with the battery.  This project investigates how effectively such services can be delivered and the commercial frameworks needed to make battery storage economically viable. 

Problems that can be addressed with battery storage:

  1. Generation that exceeds the connection capacity at midday – stored for later export;
  2. High voltages overnight on the DNO network in areas of embedded generation –reduced by overnight battery charging;
  3. Voltage fluctuations due to rapidly changing generation output – smoothed using the battery;
  4. Constrained customers on nearby networks - constraints reduced by operating the battery;
  5. Voltage excursions – managed with reactive power from the battery inverters;
  6. Overloaded network assets – managed by exporting from the battery at peak times; and
  7. Reducing the variation of output from DG to make voltage profiles more stable and power flows more predictable. 


A battery and control system will be integrated with a 1.3MW PV array connected to WPD South West’s 11kV network. Analysis of the detailed data set created by carrying out a set of well-defined use cases will form the technical core of the project. The use cases will demonstrate:

  1. Sale of energy stored in the battery for a higher price;
  2. Better matching of generation profiles to demand profiles;
  3. Use of storage to peak lop PV generation above a (dynamic) power threshold;
  4. Import electricity from the grid at times of low demand;
  5. Absorption and supply of reactive power to help manage the network voltage;
  6. Reduced connection capacity requirement per MWp generation capacity;
  7. More predictable PV output through smoothing PV's steep ramp rates;
  8. Raise or lower the export power threshold depending on thermal or voltage constraints;
  9. Show the control system allows smart co-ordination of multiple storage systems;

Analysis of the data will quantify the potential value of each use case.

The project team will work with stakeholders and project participants to propose potential changes to regulations, grid code, balancing mechanisms etc. to allow reward for investment in storage.



Success Criteria

Potential for New Learning

Monthly Updates

Innovation team


01332 827446