Europe's biggest battery storage system goes online four months early

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,576   +174
Staff member
What just happened? Operators have flipped the switch on Europe's largest battery energy storage system, bringing online a system capable of storing enough electricity to power 300,000 homes for up to two hours.

The facility, located in Cottingham, East Yorkshire, UK, was overseen by renewable power company Harmony Energy Limited and utilizes Tesla Megapack technology. The system can store up to 196 MWh (megawatt hours) of electricity in a single cycle and will provide balancing services to the energy grid while also allowing for fossil fuel sources to be replaced by renewable energy sources like solar farms and wind turbines.

The battery energy storage system was built adjacent to the Creyke Beck substation, which is where the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm is slated to go live next summer.

Each Tesla Megapack can store over 3 MWh of energy, or enough to power an average of 3,600 homes for one hour. Harmony didn't say how many Megapacks it deployed in the build but based on simple math and the construction photo accompanying the press release, there are at least several dozen units at the site.

Harmony said the project was originally intended to become operational over two phases – one in December 2022 and the second in March 2023 – but they decided to bring everything online now in anticipation of the challenging winter period.

Last month, the office of gas and electricity markets (Ofgem) said the UK could experience a gas shortage this winter due to the war between Russia and Ukraine. Gas is responsible for generating between 40 percent and 60 percent of the UK's electricity, and a shortage could have a major impact on power production.

The facility will be run using Autobidder, a real-time trading and control platform from Tesla that allows utility companies to monetize battery assets. Autobidder is already overseeing several other battery storage projects including the Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR) in South Australia.

Harmony said this is the first of six similar projects it intends to deliver in the coming years.

Permalink to story.

 

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,363   +8,581
Storage is great ..... production, in Europe is another story. They need more, a LOT more to completely shut down any need from Russia and be more self sufficient ....
 

AlaskaGuy

Posts: 749   +619
Storage is great ..... production, in Europe is another story. They need more, a LOT more to completely shut down any need from Russia and be more self sufficient ....
I don't see that happening anytime soon.

 

NumberSix

Posts: 192   +304
The one thing the UK is good at is offshore wind power, when Hornsea 3 and 4 are finished the whole project will be the size of Lincolnshire, Hornsea 1 & 2 already produce enough electricity for over 2.4 million homes.

Earlier this month the UK set its latest record for offshore wind production at 20.90GW in a half hour period.
 

dangh

Posts: 854   +1,446
I think mechanical storage could be better in long run, but I guess we will see more of those as well with time.
 

passingposeidon

Posts: 38   +51
Imagine all of the lithium mined to go into that one...

I hope they at least have a Nuclear plant nearby (or planned) for some of that steady, clean power, or all this will look like is pandering to the environmentalists...

It's not any different to all the lithium going into say, mobile phones, laptops, tablets, smart watches and the like which are being sold and abandoned in insane quantities. Just some perspective. I understand where you are coming from, it's hard to feel super positive when 'renewables' looks an awful lot like digging stuff out of the earth. But overall projects like this are positive for our energy mix and will help us deal with incoming challenges.
 

Hodor

Posts: 430   +304
That's the price of this certain type of "renewable" energy. First they sell you overpriced wind turbines and solar collectors. Then you realize it's useless crap most of the time. Then they sell you abnormally expensive batteries, to make the useless crap more constant.

All the while "greenies" spitting on hydroelectric and geothermal power plants. Which require no water-polluting mining for backup batteries. Which can last for 100 years without problems. How long will this battery pack last, before yet another expensive replacement? And all that for 3600 homes?
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,363   +4,370
That's the price of "renewable" energy. First they sell you overpriced wind turbines and solar collectors. Then you realize it's useless crap most of the time. Then they sell you abnormally expensive batteries, to make the useless crap more constant.
This is how capitalists weaponise the ignorance of the masses.
All the while "greenies" spitting on hydroelectric and geothermal power plants. Which require no water-polluting mining for backup batteries. Which can last for 100 years without problems. How long will this battery pack last, before yet another expensive replacement?
Exactly. I've never seen quotation marks being used in a more apt manner. Those "greenies" are actually puppets of big business looking to make a profit under the guise of "Saving the Earth". The expense of replacement is only a part of the problem because there are tonnes of toxic chemicals in those batteries that must also be safely disposed of.
 

neeyik

Posts: 2,424   +2,979
Staff member
This will go down as one of the stupidest things that the UK has ever done. According to Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, a 500MW geothermal plant only costs $200,000,000 to build with an operational cost of only about 2¢ per kWh. Why wouldn't they just do that and be done with it?

It is not, nor has it ever been, rocket science.
It’s hardly the stupidest thing the UK has ever done - the debacle over the replacements for the aging AGR plants easily takes that crown.

Besides, with the rapid growth in wind farms, it’s a much needed system to help balance the National Grid - more are planned to help fully stabilise it, while various nuclear projects and other schemes get started/are completed.

As for why the UK hasn’t invested in geothermal, this article by the British Geological Survey provides the reason. Natural gas has been the primary source for generating electricity in the UK because it’s been cheap and very plentiful for decades - not any more, though.
 

Hodor

Posts: 430   +304
Actually no.

They're spitting on your beloved dirty coal and fossil fuels which you conveniently forgot to add in your post.

What Avro Arrow said. I'd like to see more geothermal and hydro power plants.

I used to support various green movements long time ago. But once I've heard they are completely ignoring (aka, never mentioning) geothermal, and actively attacking hydroelectric, I couldn't believe it.

Unfortunately, those "greenies" are those who lead in so called "ECO" politics, while true ecologists are being marginalized. Some regions / countries / continents, like Australia, could also produce enormous quantities of energy from strong ocean waves. Which are constantly present at those places. There are underfunded private companies developing such tech, but "greenies" never mention it.

For some reason, they prefer unreliable renewable sources.
 

Scott Barnes

Posts: 35   +48
This will go down as one of the stupidest things that the UK has ever done. According to Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, a 500MW geothermal plant only costs $200,000,000 to build with an operational cost of only about 2¢ per kWh. Why wouldn't they just do that and be done with it?

It is not, nor has it ever been, rocket science.
Poignantly it actually is rocket science, well to a point at least.

While Geothermal is an excellent option for certain limited situations it is wildly impractical in most locales as the depths required to be drilled to for an efficient deployment of the technology become untenable from a cost perspective or simply render the environmental costs higher than the benefits. The rocket science part I alluded to comes in the form of early generation microwave drilling tips that will provide a several order of magnitude leap forward in efficient access to effective depths for geo thermal. Drilling through the granite bedrock in the UK is for all intents and purposes impossible with current technology as the costs become effectively exponential past a few hundred feet. The advanced microwave technology can trace its roots back to discoveries made by NASA's JPL about plasma/microwaves during the research regarding the ablative materials to be used in the heat shields of the reentry vehicles as well as the research done on other ablatives to be used in the nose cones of the sprint missiles deployed in the US NIKE Zeus ICBM interception system developed and deployed in the 60's.

https://news.mit.edu/2016/paul-woskov-explores-new-path-through-earth-crust-0412


Presuming you're from Ontario with the reference to a land of many lakes in your profile I would mention that the same factors that allow for the easy development of Hydro power are oppositely correlated to the deployment of Geothermal. The Canadian shield is not easy to punch through but it does an excellent job of creating massive lakes that can be dammed to allow for controlled bleed off of the stored kinetic energy available in the water for electrical generation. Also makes a great base plate for nuclear reactors as the ground has very low porosity limiting the negative effects in the case of a nuclear accident.

Geothermal works a treat in Iceland, Hawaii and effectively anywhere in the Pacific ring of fire where the Earths crust has been so kind as to rend itself open for the task, once you have to dig very far it becomes a very poor option very quickly. The UK made very fiscally and environmentally sound choices with offshore wind generation as the constant manageable winds of the North sea allow for the largest turbines on the planet to be deployed away from the view of the general public (for the most part) and far enough off shore to mitigate the effect on sea birds. The engineering teams that consulted on the deployment knew what they were doing regarding cost to benefit analysis and it was never intended to be permanent as nothing is permanent. Every engineer knows that the only constant in the universe is delta (I stole that one from the wife's father who unlike myself is a Naval architect).

Regarding the general downsides or Geothermal I would posit the documentarian pieces done by Matt Ferrell at the Energy technology youtube channel Undecided. He does thorough break downs of the tech, interviews actual researchers in the industry as well as academia while taking no sides hence the channel name "Undecided".


 

Homerlovesbeer

Posts: 190   +217
The one thing the UK is good at is offshore wind power, when Hornsea 3 and 4 are finished the whole project will be the size of Lincolnshire, Hornsea 1 & 2 already produce enough electricity for over 2.4 million homes.

Earlier this month the UK set its latest record for offshore wind production at 20.90GW in a half hour period.

So how many seabirds will perish at the blades of those turbines? Why is it ok to kill wildlife to provide a small amount of energy? Nobody wants to talk about the millions of birds killed every year in the name of the environment.
 

Zsoltblabla

Posts: 8   +34

RudyBob

Posts: 893   +914
" could help the UK get through a tough winter" So could coal and oil and natural gas of which we have plenty so our current administration is responsible for the Brits suffering. So are the Brits BTW
 

NumberSix

Posts: 192   +304
So how many seabirds will perish at the blades of those turbines? Why is it ok to kill wildlife to provide a small amount of energy? Nobody wants to talk about the millions of birds killed every year in the name of the environment.

A for a small amount of energy? As I type this 61.5% of the UKs electricity is being produced by wind, over 20% more than our gas fired power stations are producing in fact.

As for the seabirds there probably aren't as many deaths as you seem to think, these offshore wind turbines are massive and rotate quite slow. Cats are a much, much, much bigger cause of bird deaths so lets kill all the cats while we are at it.

 

AlaskaGuy

Posts: 749   +619
A for a small amount of energy? As I type this 61.5% of the UKs electricity is being produced by wind, over 20% more than our gas fired power stations are producing in fact.

As for the seabirds there probably aren't as many deaths as you seem to think, these offshore wind turbines are massive and rotate quite slow. Cats are a much, much, much bigger cause of bird deaths so lets kill all the cats while we are at it.
Just curious but how is the Brits electricity prices these days?
 

NumberSix

Posts: 192   +304
Just curious but how is the Brits electricity prices these days?

Depends on what tariff you are on but the maximum is currently £0.34 per kWh, I pay £0.19 per kWh which is what I have been paying for the last 3 years. The whole country is currently getting £66 a month reduction from our energy bills from the government (this makes my monthly gas & electric charge £54) and people on a low income are receiving extra regular payments to help with the cost of living.

We haven't been thrust in to the dark ages as the media would have you believe.