VLC Energy, a newly formed joint venture between Low Carbon and Vitol Group subsidiary VPI Immingham, will develop two large energy storage plants of a combined capacity of 50MW in the UK.

VLC’s energy storage plants, to be built at Cleator and Glassenbury in Cumbria and Kent counties respectively in England, are slated to be connected to the UK electricity network by 2017 end.

Low Carbon CEO Roy Bedlow said: “As a leading player in the renewable energy market, we’re delighted to be partnering with Vitol to accelerate the development of new energy storage and renewable energy projects.

“Furthermore, by actively building a robust portfolio of renewable energy projects at scale, we are substantively challenging the causes of climate change, while helping to meet the growing demand for renewable energy in the UK.”

VLC has won contracts for the two plants in the National Grid’s Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) tender process and the Capacity Market Auction to supply power in 2020.

Put together, the energy generated from the plants will make up 25% of the total EFR contract capacity.

The energy storage plants will leverage on LG Chem’s latest Lithium-ion battery technology alongside NEC Energy Solutions’ sophisticated energy management systems. VLC claims that the combination would give a crucial balancing service to National Grid, with almost immediate responses in a fraction of a second to drastic increase in supply and demand of energy.

VLC also claims that the rapid response service will bring considerable cost savings to National Grid, estimated to be about £200m across all EFR contracts by minimizing wasted energy.

Image: Artist impression of 40MW battery storage park at Glassenbury in the UK. Photo: courtesy of Low Carbon.