UK Power Networks has introduced a new fast-track application process for connecting small-scale electricity storage.
The announcement comes the day after the Government announced a £246m investment in support research and investment in battery technology. The funding is expected to particularly benefit the automotive and renewable energy sectors.
Electricity storage captures energy produced,for use at another time. It allows customers to store electricity generated off peak for use at peak times when it is more valuable to the customer or the network. It can also be a significant solution for renewable energy, allowing electricity generated when it is windy or the sun is shining, to be released on demand.
UK Power Networks is an industry leader in electricity storage and developed Britain’s first grid scale electricity storage facility in in Leighton Buzzard. It’s new online application process for small-scale batteries will save time and money for many domestic and commercial customers who generate electricity from solar panels or wind turbines and who want to install electricity storage in their home or businesses.
UK Power Networks is currently leading the development of guidance for connecting small-scale electricity storage to the distribution network. The guidance, which will be published by the Energy Networks Association, will provide a uniform approach to the process.
Barry Hatton, Director of Asset Management at UK Power Networks, said: “UK Power Networks is embracing the future of energy distribution and generation, and this move underlines our commitment to listening to our customers and delivering practical solutions.
“Small-scale electricity storage in people’s homes and businesses is predicted to grow in the coming years and we have taken another step to facilitate it by making it quicker and easier to connect to our network.”
The new application process has been welcomed by members of the electricity storage industry.
Ian Murray, Managing Director of PowerFlow Energy Ltd, said: “Domestic electricity storage is a new market and UK Power Networks worked with battery manufacturers and developers to simplify the new online process. By acting now to make the process as smooth as possible, UK Power Networks is enabling the industry to move forward at its own pace.”
Martin Allman, Country Director of Sonnen GmbH, said: “We’re pleased that UK Power Networks has listened to the industry and developed a simple, quick and easy process. They worked with battery manufacturers and developers to test the new process and as result we’ve got something which is going to be a genuine benefit.
“As an industry, we want to make electricity storage an easy and accessible option for our customers. By working with us, UK Power Networks has made an important move to speed up the process and lower the costs to customers. It’s a great example of Distribution Network Operators listening to people and taking positive action on the issues they raise.”
How electricity is generated, distributed, stored and consumed is rapidly changing and UK Power Networks last week set out how it will enable a smart, flexible system that responds to customers’ needs in its Future Smart consultation, see FutureSmart.ukpowernetworks.co.uk
The company is also part of the Open Networks Project, led by the Energy Networks Association, which is a major initiative to re-define how energy networks will operate in the future as we head into a new smart era. The changes it will make will give the UK’s households, businesses and communities the ability to take advantage of a new range of energy technologies and services to take control of their energy and lower their costs, including renewable generation, battery storage and electric vehicles.