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Finland's Wartsila wins 100 MW Pivot Power UK battery storage contract


Two 50 MW batteries for Oxford, Kemsley

40-site grid-connected program underway

Pivot bought by EDF in November 2019

London — Finland's Wartsila has won a contract to supply 100 MW of battery storage capacity across two Pivot Power sites in the UK as the EDF-owned developer embarks on its 2-GW high voltage-connected storage program.

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The two 50 MW lithium-ion batteries, to be installed at Cowley in Oxford and Kemsley in Kent, are expected to be operational before the end of the year, Pivot Power said Tuesday.

The order, booked with Wartsila in December, includes 10-year service agreements.

Pivot Power is developing a network of grid-scale batteries up and down the UK to provide grid services and electric vehicle charging.

These are the first projects in a 40-site program of grid-scale batteries directly connected to the transmission system.

The contract is the first to be announced since EDF Renewables bought Pivot Power in November last year.

The batteries are to be controlled by Wartsila's GEMS energy management software, as the assets seek to stack revenues in frequency regulation, reserve or VAR support, as well as from day-ahead and intraday wholesale markets.

Pivot's ultimate goal, however, is to provide support for hundreds of rapid electric vehicle chargers, potentially suitable for large retail sites, logistics centers, bus depots and park-and-ride facilities.

On buying the company last year, EDF restated its goal to have 10 GW of storage across Europe by 2035. Nearer term, the French utility aims to have 75,000 charging points providing power for 600,000 EVs in the 2020s. Most recently it bought Pod Point, the UK's largest supplier of home charge equipment.

A third 50 MW storage project in Southampton developed by Pivot Power is being completed by previous funding partner Downing LLP.

UK battery storage planning applications rose by over 52% last year to 10.5 GW from 6.9 GW, industry association RenewableUK said in December.

The pipeline of storage projects is expected to continue growing, with an increasing number of grid-scale battery projects of over 50 MW coming forward after the Department for Energy, Business and Industrial Strategy agreed earlier this year to change planning rules.