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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N508408/1
Title: Large Scale Storage for Network Services
Principal Investigator: Morrow, Professor DJ
Other Investigators:
Best, Dr RJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Electronics, Elec Eng & Comp Sci
Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 24 April 2015 Ends: 23 April 2018 Value (£): 364,318
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Storage
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The UK has a growing share of sources of energy that are variable or intermittent in their supply of electricity and that

cannot provide the same level of system security as conventional power plants. This is leading to increasing constraints on

renewable generation, particularly in Northern Ireland, which come at considerable cost to the consumer.

The proposed project will connect a 10MW Lithium Ion battery array to Northern Ireland's grid - the largest and only

transmission connected battery of its kind in the whole of Europe - in order to work with the transmission system operator

and other stakeholders to evaluate and substantiate the value of storage in providing flexible services.

The project will address any perceived operation concerns and show its value in addressing the energy trilemma, driving

the market and catalysing future growth of energy storage.

In order to raise the system non-synchronous penetration limit (SNSP) and reduce wind curtailment, more advanced

system flexibility is needed. A grid scale battery array can provide immediate power within milliseconds of a trip -

effectively emulating the effects of conventional inertia, without moving parts. Nor do batteries need to be synchronised

with the grid - providing the equivalent service of back-up power stations but without having to inefficiently run power plants

at part load. They also provide the ability to store excess wind which would otherwise have to be curtailed, with a round trip

efficiency of over 90%. In other words, battery storage would enhance system security, displace inefficient part loading

plant and relax constraints capping wind power use. This will lower grid carbon emissions and will save the system money

by reducing pay-out on wind curtailment and constraints. All three legs of the energy trilemma, security, cost and

sustainability, will therefore be addressed.

QUB will undertake monitoring and simulation activities within the project. QUB is already unique among its peers by way

of access to plant data and has amassed significant expertise in power system asset monitoring based on the development

(over 10 years) of wide-area monitoring using both commercial and QUB-developed Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs).

Northern Ireland has particularly ambitious renewables targets, with an objective of 40% of electricity from renewable

resources by 2020. The majority of this is coming from an expansion in intermittent onshore wind generation. Due to the

non-synchronous nature of wind power, and the small and weakly interconnected grid infrastructure in Northern Ireland, the

amount of instantaneous electricity currently acceptable from non synchronous resources (both wind and HVDC

interconnector imports) is limited to 50% of demand. This is to ensure sufficient synchronous inertia and controllable output

is available from conventional power plants to ensure stable operation of the grid. The consumer cost of this 50% cap is

significant and growing as more wind is added to the system. Zero fuel cost, low carbon wind energy has to be curtailed, at

cost, in order to instead pay to run part loaded conventional power plants out of economic merit in the name of system

security. This is a situation that is clearly not tenable, politically or economically, in the long term and is a significant

impediment towards the 40% renewable electricity target.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.qub.ac.uk