The 300 kW / 640 kWh BYD lithium-ion battery system at a solar farm in Somerset is one of the first industrial-scale battery storage facilities developed in the UK, thanks to an initiative between British Solar Renewables (BSR) and Western Power Distribution (WPD).

This £1 million project will demonstrate the technical and commercial feasibility of directly linking a major battery storage facility, a solar park and the electricity network.

WPD, the electricity distributor for the Midlands, South West and South Wales, is carrying out the project funded by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance, in conjunction with BSR and the National Solar Centre (NSC).

The aim is to realize the benefits of using battery storage on an industrial scale so it can play a key role in the UK energy market as it moves towards a renewable energy future. A key outcome of the initiative will be the creation of a framework commercial agreement model for use by investors and developers to increase battery storage assets across the UK.

The project is connected to WPD’s South West network and WPD will use the system to peak lop generation to avoid network overloads and voltage excursions, as well as harnessing reactive power from the batteries inverters to reduce voltage rise and using stored energy to support the network at times of high demand.