The technology group Wärtsilä has supplied a 50 MW / 50 MWh lithium-ion battery to Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, who have developed a cutting-edge hybrid battery site in Oxford, UK. The hybrid battery system, which was officially launched today at the opening of Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO), will play an essential role in the UK’s shift to renewables.
The hybrid battery combines Wärtsilä’s 50 MW / 50 MWh lithium-ion battery with Invinity’s 2 MW / 5 MWh vanadium-flow battery. The system will be controlled and dispatched by Wärtsilä’s GEMS Digital Energy Platform and optimised by Habitat’s AI-enabled battery trading system, with the project being owned and developed by Pivot Power.
The hybrid battery is the first of its kind in the UK, designed to fulfil multiple energy storage needs and support the ramp-up of renewable energy required to reach the UK’s targets of 50 GW of offshore wind and 70 GW of solar capacity by the 2030s. It is also the first in the UK to be directly connected to the National Grid’s high-voltage transmission network at the Cowley substation on the outskirts of Oxford., with the UK’s largest flow battery providing a unique overdrive function that allows it to be operated at higher power levels for sustained periods of time.
The site forms one part of the 41 million GBP Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) project. ESO integrates energy storage, electric vehicle (EV) charging, low carbon heating, and smart energy management technologies to decarbonise Oxford by 2040 and create a blueprint for other towns and cities to achieve net zero. The hybrid battery system is a short distance from the Redbridge Park and Ride, where the project’s EV charging hub is located, and can provide backup power for the EV charging infrastructure.
Wärtsilä has provided both the lithium-ion battery and GEMS Digital Energy Platform for the project. The GEMS system has been optimised for hybrid system control, managing significant complexities across battery chemistries and asset integration. GEMS supports the shift to small-scale decentralised generation by enabling the delivery of different services, from frequency regulation to enhanced grid resilience, as well as providing critical feedback to stakeholders across asset owner, operation, and trading value chains.
Kenneth Engblom, Vice President of Europe and Africa, at Wärtsilä Energy, said: “Shifting power systems to net zero whilst ensuring that the lights stay on is an incredibly complex task. The hybrid battery system is solving these problems at multiple levels, helping to supercharge the UK’s path to net zero. Wärtsilä’s technology is the cornerstone of this acceleration, helping to support decarbonisation across the entire country.”
Matt Allen, CEO of Pivot Power, said: “We need urgent solutions to decarbonise our electricity system and unlock the full potential of the UK’s abundant renewable energy sources. Energy storage is the missing piece of this puzzle. Our hybrid battery combines innovative technology to meet various needs across the power sector. By underpinning homegrown renewable energy, Pivot Power is helping the UK to create a power system that is clean, secure, and able to meet the demands of the future.”
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Image caption: Wärtsilä’s innovative energy storage solutions are accelerating decarbonisation in the UK, © Wärtsilä
Wärtsilä Energy in brief
Wärtsilä Energy leads the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. We help our customers in decarbonisation by developing market-leading technologies. These cover future-fuel enabled balancing power plants, hybrid solutions, energy storage, and optimisation technology, including the GEMS energy management platform. Wärtsilä Energy’s lifecycle services are designed to increase efficiency, promote reliability, and guarantee operational performance. Our track record comprises 76 GW of power plant capacity and 110 energy storage systems delivered to 180 countries around the world.
Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in innovative technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. We emphasise innovation in sustainable technology and services to help our customers continuously improve their environmental and economic performance. Our dedicated and passionate team of 17,000 professionals in more than 200 locations in 68 countries shape the decarbonisation transformation of our industries across the globe. In 2021, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 4.8 billion. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.
About Pivot Power
Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, creates the low carbon infrastructure needed to future-proof our electricity system, integrate more renewable energy, and provide scalable capacity for electric vehicle charging. By creating a nationwide network of Energy Superhubs – combining big batteries and high-volume power connections – we are enabling rapid electric vehicle charging on a mass scale, powered by low carbon energy sources. A map of all our proposed Energy Superhubs can be found at: www.pivot-power.co.uk
Invinity Energy Systems plc (AIM:IES)
Invinity is a world-leading flow battery company, active across North America, the UK, mainland Europe, Australasia, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. Developed specifically for high-utilisation applications, Invinity's highly scalable, factory-built flow battery products make low-carbon renewable generation reliable and can run continually with no degradation, charging and discharging for over 20 years. Energy storage systems based on Invinity's batteries are safe, reliable, and economical, and range in size from less than 250 kilowatt-hours to tens of megawatt-hours.The company has a portfolio of more than 40 energy storage projects already in operation worldwide and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada and London, UK with regional presence in the USA, South Africa and China. Invinity Energy Systems plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:IES). Visit Invinity’s website for more information.
 As set out in the UK Government’s Energy Security Strategy, 2022.