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UK’s largest industrial-scale battery with PV goes live at Lyreco

The UK’s largest industrial-scale project combining both battery storage and solar PV has been installed and commissioned at workplace supplies firm Lyreco in Telford, Shropshire.

Now online, the 500kW / 950kWh ‘behind-the-meter’ Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is providing valued services back to the grid whilst also powering Lyreco’s busy 24-hour distribution centre alongside the 3.8 MWp rooftop PV array that was completed at the site in January 2016.

Energy solutions developer EvoEnergy agreed the development, construction and financing for the BESS in the summer with the project starting in August 2017. The installation was commissioned in time to be available during the Triad season from November to February and has successfully met the Triad warnings issued during January 2018.

During the build, three PodPoint 22kW fast electric vehicle charging stations were also installed by EvoEnergy in the firm’s carpark to provide valued facilities to its staff and visitors.

The BESS includes 10 Tesla Powerpacks, connected to two Bi-Directional Power Inverters and Control System. To gain extra capacity for the battery and EV charging stations, a new ring main unit and transformer also had to be installed prior to installation.

To support the infrastructure, a concrete plinth was installed in addition to a protective fence to keep the batteries secure and safe from unauthorised personnel. Interactive monitoring of the system is also integrated so that staff and visitors can see the historic and real-time impact the battery is having on the site.

The primary function of the BESS is to ‘absorb’ and ‘supply’ energy to and from the National Grid’s infrastructure over a 15-year agreement. Technology-driven utility Limejump has been appointed as the aggregator for the project. It will manage the BESS, helping to keep the grid balanced through demand response at sub-second granularity while optimising revenue for Lyreco.

Limejump’s head of demand response Jason Stocks said: “We are proud to be working with EvoEnergy on its first co-located behind-the-meter project. Our knowledge, experience and capability in maximising revenues for customers, coupled with EvoEnergy’s ambitious plans for future projects, makes this an exciting partnership.”

The BESS also enhances Lyreco’s environmental commitment by part-charging the battery with electricity generated by the solar PV that would otherwise be exported, increasing self-generated consumption in addition to reducing triad charges.

Peter Gojka, building services manager for Lyreco, said: “The natural progression for our large PV project was to add battery storage capability. Not only is this a cost benefit to the company, but it demonstrates our commitment to innovation, and aligns ourselves with the Government’s recently announced Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan.

“The addition of fast charging points will allow us to also use some of our solar energy to charge electric vehicles, and we have future proofed the installation to allow for additional charge stations at a later date. This will encourage our staff to make the change to hybrid and full electric vehicles, sooner than they may otherwise consider, based on limited charging facilities and range constraints.”

Peter Alder, head of sales and marketing at EvoEnergy, said: “EvoEnergy have been developing this project with several parties for over a year, optimising the solution for Lyreco, investors and the grid. Now the installation is fully functioning this is a really fantastic proof of cutting edge technologies working together in an innovative operating platform, ready for the future.”