Statkraft expands relationship with Warrington Borough Council through new solar and battery optimisation deal
Statkraft now optimises five co-located renewable energy and battery sites across the UK and Ireland on behalf of its customers, including the York hybrid site also owned by Warrington Borough Council
Statkraft, Europe’s largest renewable power generator, has announced the signing of a second hybrid power purchase and battery optimisation agreement with Warrington Borough Council, covering a solar farm and battery storage site it owns in Gloucestershire.
Cirencester Solar Farm, which is wholly owned by Warrington Borough Council, incorporates a 23MWp solar farm and a DC-coupled 10MW battery storage facility, and is the first large-scale DC-coupled solar and storage facility in the UK.
The DC-coupled configuration at Cirencester is different to other sites, in that it involves connecting the solar panels and battery cells behind a shared inverter, which converts the electricity directly to AC for export to the grid. This avoids extra conversion stages, allowing batteries to be more efficiently charged from the solar panels, and means Statkraft can more effectively optimise the battery in a more integrated way with the clean, renewable electricity generated there.
Batteries complement traditional renewables. They store power at times of high wind or solar generation, ready to deploy into the grid at times of low generation, helping to provide the reliability and flexibility needed to maintain continuity of supply. As one of Europe's largest third-party renewable power traders, Statkraft leverages its expertise in asset optimisation and algorithmic trading to optimise facilities, such as this co-located energy storage project, across all relevant energy and ancillary markets.
This new deal means Statkraft now optimises five co-located renewable energy and battery sites across the UK and Ireland on behalf of its customers, including the York hybrid site also owned by Warrington Borough Council, which was signed in June 2020. This deal expands Statkraft’s leading optimisation capabilities covering co-located and hybrid sites, demonstrating its ability cover all types of AC and DC-coupled configurations.
Statkraft operates a partnership model and works closely with clients to achieve the best performance for their assets, using dynamic optimisation techniques and continuous forecasts to maximise their customers’ gross margins. Statkraft schedules the assets in real time to move between wholesale market energy optimisation and ancillary services for the grid, constantly throughout the day.
Nick Heyward, Statkraft’s Head of UK Energy Storage, Markets, says: “Having worked with Warrington Borough Council on optimising their first hybrid solar and battery site in York, we are delighted to be further expanding our relationship and managing this technically advanced project. The DC-coupled nature of the site required us to adopt a different optimisation approach and involves expanding further the technical capabilities of ‘UNITY’, our trading optimisation platform, to deal with such co-located sites. As grid-connection capacity becomes challenging to secure across the UK, we’re expecting to see the deployment of more co-located storage and renewables which need similar advanced optimisation approaches.”
Councillor Janet Henshaw, Warrington Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Climate Change, says: “We are pleased to be expanding our relationship with Statkraft. As with our solar farm in York, we're confident that our partnership will help ensure our Cirencester Solar Farm generates the best possible environmental returns.”