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Energy storage boom: UK Power Networks receives 12GW of connection applications

batteryA “buoyant” energy storage market has led to 667 connection applications totalling 12.2GW over the last 15 months, according to UK Power Networks (UKPN).

The distribution network operator (DNO) said the surge of interest in storage, virtually all batteries, is creating challenges for network firms and it wants to be allowed to charge for design and assessment fees to cover costs.

It says this would deter ‘highly speculative’ enquiries.

UKPN also wants to adapt its processes to enable a range of capacities to be specified by developers so that it can tell them how much storage capacity they could connect at a given location without need for system reinforcement.

In the longer term, it says network companies, as they become distribution system operators (DSOs), may need to run their own, local capacity markets to procure flexibility.

UKPN outlines in some depth the key issues around charging for use of networks and flexibility services in its response to BEIS and Ofgem’s call for evidence on creating a smart, flexible energy system.

In the document, UKPN also indicates a ramping up of its demand-side response activity, stating it will procure more flexibility in 2017 via relationships with aggregators and directly with industrial and commercial consumers.

“As the use of flexible connections expands and more storage looks to connect, demand-side flexibility will need to be facilitated through the connections process and agreement, which we are well positioned to enable,” the firm added.

See the full response here.

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