Willenhall battery launch event

On Thursday 17th March, The University of Sheffield launched the UK’s largest and fastest battery energy storage system in the UK at an event in Wolverhampton.

Held at the Grand Station, figures from the UK’s electricity and energy sector were invited to hear more about the system from the academic team as well as presentations from partners on why energy storage is important for the UK and further developments.

Eighty guests were taken to the battery, a short 10 minute journey to Willenhall electricity substation, for a tour of the facility.

At the event, it was announced the the team are collaborating with energy companies E.ON and Uniper, looking at future possibilities for large-scale energy storage and how to overcome the challenges associated with connecting such technologies to the grid.

The facility is one of three of the largest batteries currently operational in the UK – and the first to use an innovative lithium titanate battery, supplied by Toshiba.

The facility can respond to demands from National Grid to import or export electricity at short notice – at 4/100ths of a second, it is the fastest of any battery energy storage system in the UK.

Speakers at the event included Head of Smart Energy Sam Balch (DECC) and others from Western Power Distribution, Toshiba, E.ON and Uniper.

Based at the Willenhall substation near Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, and part of the Western Power Distribution Network, the facility is owned and operated by the energy storage research team at the University of Sheffield as part of the Energy2050 initiative, in conjunction with partners at Aston University and the University of Southampton.

The research is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).