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MP sees behind-the-scenes at award-winning battery project

South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous has visited Britain’s largest grid-scale battery project – the double award-winning* Smarter Network Storage facility in Leighton Buzzard.

From Press releases - 10 February 2017 12:00 AM

Leighton buzzard MP visit.jpg

South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous has visited Britain’s largest grid-scale battery project – the double award-winning* Smarter Network Storage facility in Leighton Buzzard.

His visit yesterday (Thursday) follows a successful two-year trial of the 6MW/10MWh “big battery” which proved for the first time that energy storage has the potential to be both technically and commercially viable,  potentially transforming the energy grid and playing a major role in the transition towards a low-carbon economy.
Mr Selous said he was delighted to have such a pioneering project in his constituency, which was leading the way in Britain’s low carbon future.
He said: “It’s great that Leighton Buzzard is home to such an innovative and exciting project.

“The Big Battery has shown how energy storage can help to keep energy costs down as well as help us move to a low carbon future.”
The MP was shown around the facility – which is the size of three tennis courts and can store enough electricity to power 6,000 homes for 1.5 hours at peak times** - by UK Power Networks’ low carbon manager Ian Cooper.
Mr Cooper said: “We welcomed the opportunity to show Mr Selous around this facility, which has a key role to play in a rapidly-changing energy landscape.

“As the future of electricity networks changes in the coming years it is essential that network operators invest in new and innovative technologies that allow them to adapt and continue providing the best service to their customers.”

Since the battery began operating at the end of December 2014, it has supported system operators delivering various services for more than 10,000 hours and fed the local electricity network during periods of high demand on more than 1,000 occasions – standing ready to provide power in the event of a national or local problem on the network.

While the trial period has come to an end, UK Power Networks will continue to operate the battery in Leighton Buzzard, helping to meet the continuing demands for electricity in the Bedfordshire town.