First Co-Location of Batteries at UK Hydro Schemes in the UK

Barn Energy and Eelpower deploy battery units at Hydro Schemes in Yorkshire with Limejump FFR capabilities powering success

Barn Energy, the company that developed and owns three of the largest river hydro projects to be built in the UK in the past 20 years, has deployed battery units alongside two of them: at Thrybergh, on the Rover Don near Rotherham and at Knottingley, on the River Aire near Wakefield. This is the first time that battery storage units have been deployed in the UK in combination with low-head river hydro schemes.

Barn Energy worked with its sister company, Eelpower Limited, to deliver the two schemes. Later this year, the two companies plan to install another battery storage unit at Barn Energy’s Kirkthorpe hydro scheme (500kW capacity) on the River Calder, 10 miles west of Knottingley.

Built by China’s BYD and installed by Anesco, each lithium-ion battery unit has a capacity of over 1200kWh. Each is currently delivering on a two-year contract to deliver Firm Frequency Response (FFR) for the National Grid. The batteries will also seek to export over TRIAD days, multiplying Thrybergh’s output by five times its original capacity (260kW) and Knottingley’s (500kW) by 2½ times.

The batteries will be remotely controlled using Limejump’s Virtual Power Plant offering. When not performing FFR or TRIAD services, the batteries will be used for load shifting and for trading to maximise the revenues at each site.

Mark Simon, Chief Executive of both Barn Energy and Eelpower Limited explained: “By co-locating the battery units with hydropower, 60-70% of the battery consumption (when performing grid balancing services such as FFR) is provided for by hydropower and the rest comes from the grid. This is a significant benefit for the economics of our battery, and of our hydropower station.”

Erik Nygard, CEO of Limejump described this process as: “Partnering with innovative companies, like Barn Energy and Eelpower, that are committed to developing sustainable energy infrastructure is a cornerstone of the Limejump vision. Opening up market access to these renewable installations and using our Virtual Power Plant platform to maximise value will help deliver a fully sustainable energy future.”

Both batteries were pre-qualified for the recent Capacity Market auction but chose not to take the February 2018 exit price.

Eelpower Limited is a pioneer in the funding, construction, ownership and operation of large-scale commercial electricity storage, building on a heritage of delivery of renewable solar PV and hydropower.