Battery storage
Why is battery storage essential to achieve net zero?

Battery storage helps to create a smarter, more flexible energy system which can integrate more renewable energy and make more efficient use of existing infrastructure. It helps to manage fluctuations in renewable generation – storing it when there’s a surplus and releasing it when there’s a shortfall – and ensure that electricity supply and demand are always equal. It also increases system resiliency, reducing the likelihood of blackouts, and enabling the system to operate more efficiently, helping to deliver a clean, secure and affordable energy future.

Here in the UK, National Grid forecasts we will need over 25GW of battery storage by 2050 to create a net zero electricity system – up from 1GW today. The economic benefits are considerable. It’s estimated that a smarter, more flexible energy system could save up to £40 billion by 2050.

What are the benefits of battery storage?

Battery storage is essential to tackle the climate emergency and achieve net zero. A recent report by the World Economic Forum found batteries could enable 30% of the required reductions in carbon emissions in the transport and power sectors, provide access to electricity to 600 million people who currently have no access, and create 10 million safe and sustainable jobs around the world.

How many batteries are you building?

We aim to develop up to 2GW of battery storage at 40 sites nationwide. Construction is underway at our first two sites in Kent and Oxford. In Kent we are building a 50MW/50MWh lithium-ion system supplied by Wartsila. In Oxford we are building an innovative hybrid battery energy storage system as part of Energy Superhub Oxford. This will combine a 50MW/50MWh lithium-ion system from Wartsila with a 5MW/2.5MWh vanadium flow battery from Invinity Energy Systems. The project will explore how the characteristics of these two different battery technologies can be used to support the electricity grid and deliver maximum benefit.

Where are you locating your battery storage projects?

We are developing 40 battery storage projects in England and Wales. These locations have been selected because they are alongside National Grid substations, and close to towns and cities and major road networks. This means we can:

  • Connect directly to National Grid’s high voltage transmission network and access large amounts of power.
  • Deliver power for rapid electric vehicle charging to specific locations in the vicinity of the battery storage project, from bus depots and motorway service areas to public charging hubs and commercial fleets.

View our project map for more details.

What are you doing to address concerns about mining for raw materials used in battery storage?

The supply chain for minerals critical to battery development – such as cobalt – is rightly under scrutiny. As the industry develops, many organisations are working to implement sustainability certification schemes which are compliant with UN and OECD guidelines and support the growth of ethical battery supply chains, safeguard workers and deliver local economic benefits. In parallel, next-generation battery chemistries are already being commercialised to reduce cobalt by using more widely available elements such as iron and nickel.

We are monitoring these developments closely as we select project partners and plan new battery storage facilities, to ensure we deliver the most ethical and sustainable projects possible.

How safe are your battery energy storage systems?

We are committed to zero harm, and all of our battery storage projects are built and operated in line with industry best practice. This includes decisions about which battery chemistries to install, the safety and monitoring of battery zones, as well as the systems and procedures we implement to detect and respond to issues in operation. All of our battery modules are compliant with the globally recognised UL9540A fire safety standard and our systems are fitted with automatic fire suppression technology. In addition, we work closely with the local fire services at all of our projects to develop appropriate emergency response plans. As part of EDF Renewables, we have a significant track record safely developing and operating electricity generation and storage projects, including one of the UK’s first grid-scale battery storage sites, West Burton B.

Will your batteries be recycled?

In line with EU guidelines we have contracted routes in place with our suppliers to recycle all our batteries when they reach end-of-life. Battery recycling is already well established in China and South Korea and the industry is expected to expand globally over the coming decades to play an important role in supplying chemical elements for battery production. As our systems near their end-of-life, we will also consider options to extend their life and/or re-use the batteries elsewhere.

EV power infrastructure
How much power does your private wire network provide?

Our private wire connects to National Grid’s high-voltage transmission network and can provide up to 23MW to power mass-scale, rapid electric vehicle charging.

How does this approach differ from a DNO connection?

Our network is private which means you can reserve capacity ahead of need at a fixed cost that will not change over time. With this offer, customers can plan their charging infrastructure investment with confidence. Our offer differs from a DNO connection, where capacity may be constrained, and the cost may vary hugely depending on the region and timescales.

How much does it cost?

This will depend on your requirements, however we typically charge a per MW connection fee, an annual capacity charge (only when that capacity is used) and a use of system charge. This approach is similar to how DNO fees are structured. Please contact us to discuss specific commercial terms.

Who supplies the electricity?

You choose your electricity supplier, in just the same way as you would when connecting to the distribution network. We are a capacity provider and do not participate in the supply of electricity.

Is there a minimum connection size?

Our customers tend to have a capacity requirement of 1MW or more. As we are transmission connected, our network is high-powered and can carry up to 23MW of capacity at 33,000 volts. Connecting less than 1MW is likely be more cost-effective at lower voltages which we do not provide.

Where does the battery come in? Will vehicles be charging from the battery?

The battery is entirely separate to the EV charging network. Our private wire connects directly to the high-voltage transmission network providing reliable, scalable power for your EV charging needs.

The battery provides flexible capacity to enable the transition to a zero carbon electricity system, supporting more renewables and increasing the resilience of the network.

Do you provide charge points?

No. Pivot Power is a capacity provider. We will have charge point operators (CPOs) as our customers – in the same way that CPOs are customers of DNOs.

What charging speeds do you cater for?

Our network can cater for all charging speeds. However, because we offer a high-power network dedicated to EV charging, we expect our CPO customers to focus primarily on the build out of rapid charging stations (150 – 350+ kW).

Which charge point operators (CPOs) do you work with?

We’re really excited to work with everyone who is helping accelerate the transition to a cleaner transport future. Our high-power network is ideally suited to rapid charging (150 – 350+ kW) hubs or large commercial fleet sites.

Do you provide power for domestic EV charging?

We do not. Our high-power network is focused on transient mass-scale, rapid charging locations and large commercial fleet sites, including public charging hubs, park and rides, motorway service areas, bus depots and distribution centres.