This 34.7MW PV plant plus 27.5MW/30MWh large-scale energy storage project in the UK was successfully put into operation in winter 2019. It marked the largest unsubsidized solar-plus-storage project in Europe as well as the first unsubsidized utility-scale project in the UK. The project is expected to generate enough solar energy for 10,000 households per year.
The completion of the project not only heralded a new era of unsubsidized and sustainable development of renewable energy in the UK and Europe, but also provided an applied demonstration of the era of global parity and grid connection.
In recent years, the gradual cancellation of subsidies for renewable energy has become a new normal in the UK and some other parts of Europe, with the profits of PV power plants greatly reduced as a result. The integration of PV and energy storage can improve system efficiency and the power generating capability of PV plants and the solar-plus-storage solution is now becoming the first choice for further unsubsidized projects.
“PV + ESS” for Higher Yields
Sungrow supplied the total system solution for the project, consisting of an SG3125HV-MV 1500Vdc PV turnkey station and all-in-one “2.5 MW-1 Hour” ESS (energy storage system) which can maintain a reasonable energy transmission between the grid, PV, energy storage and project users, maximizing ROI of the plant.
Given its changeable weather and relatively poor sunshine conditions, the UK presents high requirements in terms of DC/AC ratio. Sungrow provides a 1500V turnkey medium-voltage inverter solution with an optimal DC/AC ratio of 1.4. Compatible with intelligent tracking systems and bi-facial modules, the solution significantly boosts yields by more than 20%.
Housed in a 20-ft container together with monitoring system and auxiliary power supply, the advantage of the company’s new SC2500HV-MV high performing PCS (power conversion system) lies in its ability to deliver high efficiency and its compatibility with high voltage battery systems to improve yields and reduce O&M costs. Furthermore, the reliable lithium-ion battery system from Sungrow Samsung SDI is housed in a 40-ft container.
Standard container design has proven profitable in terms of transportation and also enables a reduction in carbon footprint.
System Integration Contributes to Safety
The safety of the battery is one of the most important factors in the stable operation of an energy storage system. The Sungrow ESS adopts a four-level management system, including local controller, battery system, battery rack and battery module management, in order to prevent situations like overcharge, over-discharge, over-current, over-voltage and under-voltage.
Equipped with intelligent HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and an automatic FFS (fire fighting system), together with the high-efficiency heat dissipation and thermal insulation design of the battery, the ESS solution will ensure that the battery will not experience extreme temperatures in harsh conditions, guaranteeing a safe and reliable system with maximum efficiency.
Integrated with the monitoring system which secures data from thousands of sampling points, the ESS solution can display the real-time operation status of the battery and prevent it from any potential hazards.
Additionally, reserving 3 metres of fire prevention space between containers is not only convenient for installation and maintenance, but conducive to the safety of the system.
The CEO of the project investor company highly praised the cooperation with Sungrow: "We attach great importance to this unsubsidized project and maximising the power plant revenue is our main concern. During the cooperation, the Sungrow team gave us very professional technical support and the flexibility and professionalism of the entire program guaranteed the smooth progress of the project. Based on the very positive outcome, we look forward to collaborating on more projects in the future."