Pivot Power places 100 MW of energy storage order with Wärtsilä

Source: press release, 25 February 2020

100 MW of energy storage to Pivot Power will provide flexible capacity and reliability to support increased renewable energy generation and electric vehicle charging infrastructure – site in Kemsley
100 MW of energy storage to Pivot Power will provide flexible capacity and reliability to support increased renewable energy generation and electric vehicle charging infrastructure – site in Kemsley (illustration: Wärtsilä)

Pivot Power, an EDF Renewables company specialising in battery storage and infrastructure for electric vehicle charging, has placed an order with technology group Wärtsilä to deliver 100 MW of energy storage in the UK. Pivot Power is developing a world-first national network of grid-scale batteries and high-volume power connections to provide essential capacity for rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging. The first two projects at Cowley in Oxford and Kemsley in Kent are expected to be fully operational before the end of this year. Wärtsilä will support the projects under 10-year service agreements with flexible performance guarantees. The order was booked with Wärtsilä in December 2019.

The two 50 MW lithium-ion batteries will be the first projects completed as part of Pivot Power’s programme to develop, own and operate up to 2 GW of grid-scale energy storage and high-volume power connections which are directly connected to the UK high-voltage transmission system. The projects will provide flexible capacity and reliability to support increased renewable energy generation and EV charging infrastructure. The UK market for EVs is expected to expand significantly in 2020 in what has been described as “the year of the electric car” by industry analysts.

This is the largest energy storage deal in Europe for Wärtsilä, which has set its sights on the UK as a key new market, as part of its plan to lead the global transition towards a 100% clean energy future.

Adrien Lebrun, Pivot Power’s Engineering Director says, “At Pivot Power we are committed to enabling a clean electric future and accelerating the expansion of electric vehicles across the UK, and as part of EDF Renewables we are making this vision a reality. These Wärtsilä energy storage systems allow us to harness cutting-edge technology to future-proof our investments in a changing energy market, supporting our long-term goal to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and bring us closer to net zero.”

The systems are based on Wärtsilä’s advanced energy management software platform GEMS, which leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable the intelligent management of large-scale energy storage systems, and innovative GridSolv modular storage solution, which supports stand-alone energy storage deployments and integrated hybrids with thermal or renewable generation assets. Wärtsilä’s solutions can be dynamically adjusted according to the demands of the markets across multiple revenue streams and can optimise a fleet of assets for best results.

Andrew Tang, Vice President, Energy Storage and Optimisation, Wärtsilä Energy Business, says, “We believe that a clean energy future for the UK is not just possible, it is deliverable. These exciting projects will support a cost-effective, reliable and low-carbon energy system and promote the rapid adoption of clean transport in the UK. These pioneering energy storage projects highlight the capabilities of GridSolv and GEMS to provide flexible energy services in the energy market.”

The contract is the first to be announced since EDF Renewables acquired Pivot Power in November 2019. It forms part of EDF Group’s Electricity Storage Plan under which it aims to be the leader in Europe with 10GW of additional storage by 2035. It also supports EDF Electric Mobility Plan, to become the leading electric mobility company by 2022 in the UK, France, Italy and Belgium. Beyond this 2022 date, the Group’s goal is to provide power for 600,000 electric vehicles and 75,000 charging points.