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New Battery Technology Brought Online in UK

image credit: Invinity Energy Systems
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Battery power management as part of energy storage will be essential to utilities of the future. Utility grade energy storage company Invinity has added a pioneering vanadium redox flow battery technology to UK's Energy Superhub in Oxford. This will be the world's first transmission-connected battery. The 2MW/5MWh battery works with a 50MWh lithium-ion battery storage system that is already operating. This becomes one energy-storage asset as the Invinity flow battery acts as the quick response front end, while the lithium-ion device comes on stream afterwards, when more power is needed. This method of load management works to reduce wear on the lithium-ion battery, while the flow battery does not degrade with use. So it can cycle indefinitely.

Oxford is hosting the $54.2 million (£41 million) Energy Superhub project, which is led by Pivot Power, a subsidiary of EDF Renewables. This is one aspect of a planned target for the famous university city to be zero carbon by 2040 or earlier: integrating rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging, low-carbon heating, hybrid battery storage, and smart energy management technologies. This approach to energy storage is designed to leverage the strengths of each technology in order to increase grid resiliency and create a smarter, more flexible energy system.

The Superhub deployment will make it not only will the largest directly-transmission-connected battery installed in the UK to date, but also the largest vanadium flow and lithium-ion hybrid battery ever deployed, according to Invinity.

“Energizing the largest flow battery in the UK marks a proud moment for Invinity, but even more important is how this innovative project is a model for cities worldwide. It demonstrates that energy storage pioneers such as Pivot Power can collaborate with local government to deliver a future-proofed, flexible grid that supports the renewable energy transition and the shift to an electrified, net zero future. We are honored to support Energy Superhub Oxford with utility-grade energy storage.“ Larry Zulch, Chief Executive Officer, Invinity Energy Systems.

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