Zenobe Energy battery to provide reactive power services

Zenobe Energy has announced it will use a 10MW battery at King Barn facility in Sussex to provide reactive power to National Grid ESO, via UK Power Networks’ distribution network.

Reactive power is used to control voltage levels, keeping them at a safe and efficient level for electricity transportation and consumption. The batteries will absorb and generate reactive power when needed, which will alleviate capacity challenges associated with increased reliance on distributed energy generation.  

Using the battery will  avoid costly network reinforcement and help release additional capacity on the network. Laboratory testing of Zenobe’s controller was successfully completed in 2019 with UK Power Networks, and live site testing with UK Power Networks’ control systems will be completed in March.

The initiative is part of the Power Potential project, by NG ESO and UK Power Networks, which aims to create a new reactive power market for distributed energy resources.

Last month, Zenobe announced it had secured £25 million in funding from Santander to finance new grid scale battery projects, and to expand its vehicle charging infrastructure and behind the meter services. 

Dr Rita Shaw, UK Power Networks Power Potential project lead, said: “Developing the Power Potential service is part of our strategy to deliver new market opportunities to our customers. With Power Potential and development of our other flexibility services, we’re leading the way in demonstrating how a distribution system operator can enable our future electricity system.”

Further reading

DNO flexibility markets still “too small a market size”, says Limejump CEO

Distribution markets make a slow start

Ofgem to review GB System Operators with a roadmap for change within weeks

NGESO opens tender for reactive power services in Mersey region

NGESO and Reactive Technologies to roll out real-time inertia measurement across the grid