SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA) has supplied the entire system technology for Europe’s biggest battery storage power plant in Pelham, England. The large-scale storage system in the county of Hertfordshire, with a connected load of more than 60 MVA, is one of a number of projects currently under construction in England to provide the reserve power necessary for frequency control and, therefore, to compensate for grid fluctuations. The 26 Sunny Central Storage battery inverters supplied by SMA integrate a modern storage system with lithium-ion batteries in the utility grid to provide the grid operators with a range of grid management services.
“Pelham is a flagship project in Europe and delivering more than 60 MVA of power, one of the largest of its kind worldwide,” said Dr. Enrique Garralaga Rojas, head of Project Development at SMA Sunbelt Energy GmbH. “In addition to the battery inverters, SMA Sunbelt Energy GmbH supplied a power management system specially designed for the system and a SCADA solution. This will allow the large-scale storage system to be optimally charged and discharged according to grid requirements.”
Constructed in less than six months
The storage project in Pelham was constructed together with SMA’s subcontractor British Solar Renewables Limited in a challenging construction programme of less than six months and is the largest single battery storage power plant in Europe. The operator is the British company Statera Energy Limited that is the developer and owner of a number of other large-scale systems. With a capacity of 50.06 MWh, the system compensates for frequency fluctuations in the island nation’s utility grid. These fluctuations are relatively high due to the insufficient capacities of the connection to the European utility grid and the high proportion of electricity generated by off-shore wind turbine systems.
“SMA made a vital contribution to not only ensuring this innovative storage system project was delivered within a tight construction programme, but also that the test phase, required by National Grid, was completed ahead of schedule without any delays,” said Tom Vernon, Managing Director of Statera Energy Limited. “We chose SMA’s sophisticated system technology because we were impressed with its reliability and high level of availability.”
In 2017, SMA supplied system technology with about 400 MW of power for a variety of large-scale storage projects worldwide. Sunny Central Storage battery inverters for integrating state-of-the-art battery-storage systems make a key contribution to the continued growth of renewable energies because they provide grid management services for stabilizing the utility grid.
The SMA Group with sales of around €1 billion in 2016 is the global market leader for solar inverters, a key component of all PV plants. SMA offers a wide range of products and solutions that allow for high energy yields for residential and commercial PV systems and large-scale PV power plants. To increase PV self-consumption efficiently, SMA system technology can easily be combined with different battery technologies. Intelligent energy management solutions, comprehensive services and operational management of PV power plants round off SMA’s range. The company is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, is represented in 20 countries and has more than 3,000 employees worldwide, including 500 working in Development. SMA’s multi-award-winning technology is protected by more than 1,100 patents and utility models. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and is currently the only company in the solar industry that is listed in the TecDAX index.
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