The development of the “Big Battery”, designed and ran by UK Power Networks, has been praised by Polegate MP, Maria Caulfield.
The battery has been described as potentially being able to transform the energy grid and will play a major role in the transition toward a low-carbon economy. It is the size of three tennis courts and can store enough electricity to power 6000 homes for 90 minutes at peak times.
The energy industry is slowly transitioning toward a low carbon, decentralised, digital energy system. The industry is thus focused on the role that storage, especially batteries, can play in the supply of electricity. Grid-scale storage will be a key contributor in addressing some of the challenges which the industry faces, and this project has delivered valuable insights for the whole energy industry at a key stage in its evolution.
The project concluded that grid-scale energy storage is commercially viable as battery costs continue to fall and revenue streams become more accessible. As battery storage is a new technology, regulation and legislation has yet to be developed to allow the benefits to be fully achieved.
As well as this, in 2016 the UK Power Networks became the first company in the country to train and employ apprentices who had successfully completed one of the pioneering Trailblazer apprenticeships. As well as this, it was the first company to have one of their trainees awarded a distinction, and to achieve a 100% pass rate.
The standard was developed by twelve power sector employers, working collaboratively with Energy & Utility Skills Limited. Rigorous end-point assessments took place in order to ensure that the requisite standards of competence were being achieved.
Maria commented, “This is excellent news to come out from the energy provider of the South East of England. I am glad to see that they are making both excellent technological advancements, and ensuring that their workforce remains at a premier standard.”