There is a biomass plant in Sheffield, England that could help the UK handle power from resources that are more renewable. This plant has a new battery storage system that is contained in 4 full-size shipping containers. This 10-megawatt lithium-ion battery can store quantities of energy that are equivalent to half a million smartphone batteries.
That’s a lot of power.
E.ON is the name of the UK company that constructed the battery. They’ve named the battery the Blackburn Meadows battery, mostly due to the fact that it’s located in the Blackburn Meadows biomass plant. While it may not be the most original name in the world, the power the battery is capable of generating is pretty impressive. E.ON said in a statement that the Blackburn Meadows battery generates the same amount of juice as approximately 100 family-size automobiles.
The Blackburn Meadows battery is a member of a new wave of new industrial-scaled battery plants. This new technology comes as a result of a request from National Grid, the entity that owns the electricity network across England and Wales. National Grid has requested that new technologies be developed in order to keep the grid in check. It’s a request that’s not as easily delivered as you might imagine.
Renewable resources are tough to harness and control. For example, the sun doesn’t always shine enough to provide predictable amounts of solar power. The same can be said about wind power. Large batteries are an answer to those periods where resources may be low. Batteries like the Blackburn Meadows rig can store power as needed and provide it when the situation demands it.
Right now, the Blackburn Meadows battery is among the biggest of its kind in Britain, but we will likely see even larger units built in the near future. Centrica, British Gas’ parent company, is currently working on a facility that will store 49MW and EDF energy is building one that’s similar in size.