Irish utility ESB powers into UK storage market

ESB has acquired a 7MWh battery storage site from renewables developer Anesco, marking the Irish utility’s first grid connected energy storage project in the UK and building upon its pipeline of low carbon, renewable technologies and smart energy solutions.

Mill Farm, located near Grantham, Lincolnshire, comprises of six battery storage containers. The project was funded and developed by Anesco, with its construction completed in just 12 weeks.

The site went live in April 2018 and benefits from multiple revenue streams. It will support National Grid to help secure the security and quality of the UK’s power supply.

It is the first time ESB has worked with Anesco. The site has been acquired for an undisclosed sum.

Jim Dollard, executive director of ESB Generation & Wholesale Markets, commented: “ESB has been a leading independent generator in the UK for more than 25 years and the commercial operation at Mill Farm marks another important milestone for the company.

“The site will enable us to develop the technical, commercial and regulatory expertise in battery storage and flexible technologies. This will help to make electricity systems more stable and reliable, while allowing for enhanced performance and flexibility of our existing and future plant.”

The batteries at Mill Farm will be monitored by Anesco’s specialist O&M service, AnescoMeter, to ensure they continue to generate the maximum returns for ESB.

Steve Shine, Anesco executive chairman, said: “We’re delighted to be working with ESB on this project – one that supports the utility’s commitment to moving towards a sustainable electricity system.

“The relationship has developed thanks to our unique ability to model long term revenue streams and prove the financial viability of energy storage for investors. As the UK’s largest and most established energy storage provider, we’ve been able to create the industry’s most accurate modelling tool. It can be used to predict whole life cost, IRR and long term revenue streams – all crucial information that sets us apart from every other developer in the country.”

He added: “Anesco’s pipeline is strong and continues to grow, as investors increasingly recognise the energy storage opportunity.”

Anesco currently has 29 operational sites, comprising of 76 individual battery units, providing a combined capacity of 87MW. With a healthy order book, the total capacity installed by the company is set to exceed 380MW by 2020. In September 2017, Anesco officially opened the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm and the company remains the only renewable developer to have retrofit solar farms with energy storage.

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