SMS energises first battery energy storage system


SMS plc has successfully energised its first battery energy storage system (BESS) in Burwell, Cambridgeshire.

Capable of storing and releasing up to 50MW of power, which could serve thousands of homes with electricity, the site is one the largest projects of its kind in the UK.

The system of lithium-ion batteries is able to store clean power such as wind and solar when electricity demand is low and release it to the network when demand is high. Following energisation, SMS – which independently owns, manages, and operates the system – will now begin delivering a range of balancing and ancillary services essential for building grid resilience.

In addition to the newly operational Burwell site, a 40MW system in Barnsley, Yorkshire, is nearing completion and due to come online this year, whilst work also began in late 2021 on two more 50MW sites in Suffolk and Derbyshire.

John FlahertyManaging Director of Grid-Scale Energy Storage, said: “With the energisation of our first storage site, and three more projects due to come online in relatively quick succession, our ambitions for leading the growth of this fast-emerging sector couldn’t be much clearer. Our batteries will play a significant role in improving the integration of renewables and help bolster system resilience as we come to rely on clean energy generation. Such benefits are central to reaching net zero emissions, and our aim as a business is to deploy the low-carbon assets required at scale to achieve that goal as soon as possible.”