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Energy Storage Investment

In the last year we, in common with other UK network operators, have seen a significant growth in the number of connection agreement applications it has received for storage projects. The number of applications, combined with the high level of development activity and investor interest, suggests that the deployment of energy storage could grow rapidly in the next decade.

We are working with Regen to develop an approach to model the future growth and operation of storage assets to better understand how these assets are likely to be used, and their ‘mode of operation’; including their typical profile of charge and discharge.

We consulted with industry to establish whether the analysis and definitions we have arrived at, including the underlying business models, project specifications and operating modes, are appropriate and reflect how the sector currently views the likely deployment and operating behaviour of storage.

In undertaking this consultation, we were seeking to understand: 
  • The potential scale of growth of energy storage within its distribution networks 
  • The type of energy storage assets/projects that are likely to be deployed and their business models 
  • The typical operating behaviour of storage assets, how they are likely to be used and their typical daily mode(s) of operation  
We have had a positive response to this consultation, receiving 27 submissions from a broad range of organisations from across the industry. These responses provided a breadth of feedback and useful insights around the growth, technology, technical specification and operation of energy storage assets. One striking result from the consultation was that 96% of respondents felt that storage would predominantly be connected on the distribution network, meaning that WPD (and other DNO’s) will need to adapt to meet the expected growth in storage capacity in the future.

We would therefore like to thank everyone who responded to this consultation, the information gathered has been used to inform our modelling of storage, our future network planning and has helped us further understand the growth and operation of storage technology in more detail.

The enclosed results report shares the original background, analysis and assumptions we have made around storage. It also outlines a summary of the response we have received, with anonymised results against each of the 20 questions from the consultation as an aggregated summary.

As a result of the feedback we have received through this consultation, the report concludes with an outline of some of the specific areas where we have adjusted our network modelling assumptions as well as some key principles that we wish to implement, to ensure the benefits of energy storage can be realised on its network.

The report can be downloaded here.