London's first virtual power plant to run off household solar
The UK’s capital city will soon be installed with its first ‘virtual power station’ which will use electricity from household solar panels and battery storage.
The UK Power Networks (UKPN)announced that new power station, to be located across the London borough of Barnet.
40 homes in the borough that already have solar panels will be fitted with energy storage systems that can be remotely controlled.
The controlled batteries will combine output from solar panels on top of homes to enable full charge capacity during peak demands – weekday evenings.
Through the system, residents in the are will be able to save money and well as earn from energy saved in their batteries.
Ultimately the project aims to provide balance to the grid during peak and troughs in demand.
“London is a world-leader in technology and projects like this are just the start as we move towards a decarbonised, decentralised and digitised network that will offer significant benefits to our customers,” stated Barry Hatton, UKPN’s Director of Asset Management.
“It will help to keep down electricity distribution costs by providing a viable alternative to the traditional approach of simply adding more cables and substations to increase capacity.”
UKPN aims for the batteries to be installed so the virtual power station can be operational by winter this year.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.