Centrica Business Solutions has brought online its 49MW battery at Roosecote battery in Cumbria.
It is part of Centrica’s £180m investment into flexible power which also includes a refurbishment of King’s Lynn power station, plus two fast response gas-fired power stations which opened earlier this year.
The site was originally home to a coal-fired power station that was later replaced by the country’s first combined cycle gas turbine. Construction took around 18 months to complete, having started in March 2017. The battery will now be operated remotely from Centrica’s Energy Centre in Peterborough.
Construction of the project was delayed because of site issues – there was asbestos on site that had to be removed. There were also design issues, largely arising from using familiar technologies in a new application. The huge amount of cooling required when the battery is charging and discharging, for example, required standard HVAC technology to be dramatically scaled up. And the site’s location benefits from having a grid connection in place, but is on the coast, which means a high level of salt in the air. That is not ideal for a battery installation, so special measures were required.
The battery will operate in the fast frequency reserve market, as well as the capacity market.