Sembcorp Energy UK, part of the Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries group, a leading energy, marine and urban development group, announces that the first 60 megawatts (MW) of its battery energy storage system (BESS) fleet are now in operation.
Located in Asfordby in Leicestershire, and Ellesmere Port and Runcorn in Cheshire, the three battery storage sites recently came online following licensing approval and successful testing. These additions bring Sembcorp Energy UK’s total operational energy portfolio to 973 MW.
These sites comprise half of a 120 MW portfolio of battery storage projects—one of the largest transacted fleets of its kind in Europe. When completed in 2020, the entire fleet will further boost Sembcorp’s ability to provide the flexible distributed energy generation needed to decarbonise the UK system.
Developed in partnership with Fluence, the leading global provider of energy storage technology and services, the units are able to supply power in a matter of milliseconds. This rapid response will help National Grid keep the lights on and avoid situations such as the outage of 9 August 2019, when the UK suffered its largest blackout in more than a decade.
These battery storage installations join Sembcorp’s UK fleet of gas-fired plants, which provide flexible, efficient, rapid-response power to the UK energy market. A total of 40 sites are remotely monitored and controlled from the central operations facility in Solihull, where they can be called upon by National Grid at times of high demand.
“This is a significant milestone as we grow our business with a technology that supports a renewable future and helps deliver the UK Government’s decarbonisation plan. Our assets are positioned close to points of demand where power is most needed. Our sites will play a pivotal role in providing a more secure energy system, helping to mitigate blackout events such as were experienced by UK network operators recently,” Nomi Ahmad, Head of Sembcorp Energy UK, said.
“With this fleet of projects, Sembcorp Energy UK is setting the pace for rapid growth in utility-scale energy storage across global markets. These first three projects – and the ones still to come – will provide the deep, split-second flexibility and reliability that are critical for the UK to achieve its ambitious decarbonisation targets. We look forward to the continued growth, innovation, and benefits for the UK that our partnership with Sembcorp will produce,” Stephen Coughlin, CEO of Fluence mentioned.
Sam Wither, Head of Sembcorp Energy UK’s flexible generation business, commented: “Battery storage complements the continued growth of renewables and takes the UK a step closer to meeting its 2050 decarbonisation ambition. Our partnership with Fluence has grown from talking about energy storage to creating one of the largest distributed portfolios globally in a relatively short space of time. The energy market is ever-changing, and we have fostered a partnership with Fluence that can deliver to the fast-evolving demands of the UK.”
“The August 9 blackouts underlined the UK’s critical need for robust and flexible energy storage technology platforms. The batteries already on the system helped mitigate some of the worst impacts of the event. Our partnerships with large fleet buyers like Sembcorp similarly underscore our in-depth experience providing the system resilience the UK grid needs today and the ability it will need going forward to scale quickly to accommodate increasing levels of renewable energy,” Paul McCusker, Fluence Vice President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said.
About Sembcorp Industries
Sembcorp Industries is a leading energy, marine and urban development group, operating across multiple markets worldwide.
As an integrated energy player, Sembcorp is poised to benefit from the global energy transition. With a strong track record in developing and developed markets, it provides solutions across the energy and utilities value chain, with a focus on the Gas & Power, Renewables & Environment, and Merchant & Retail sectors. The group has a balanced energy portfolio of over 12,400 megawatts, including thermal power plants, renewable wind and solar power assets, as well as biomass and energy-from-waste facilities. In addition, Sembcorp is a world leader in offshore and marine engineering, as well as an established brand name in urban development.
Fluence is the result of two industry powerhouses and pioneers in energy storage joining together to form a new company dedicated to innovating modern electric infrastructure. In January 2018, Siemens and AES launched Fluence, uniting the scale, experience, breadth, and financial backing of the two most experienced icons in energy storage.
The Fluence team encompasses more than 10 years of experience deploying and operating energy storage. Fluence is driving change by opening new markets to storage around the world, and has the largest deployed fleet of energy storage projects of any company.