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GE, Arenko partner to develop largest energy storage battery

The battery is expected to commence operations this year when it will integrate GE and Arenko’s control technologies

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GE has formed a strategic alliance with UK energy infrastructure company Arenko to develop grid scale batteries in the UK, starting with a 41MW system in England’s Midlands.

The battery is expected to commence operations this year when it will integrate GE and Arenko’s control technologies. It will be commercially operated though Arenko’s software to digitally deploy energy and access multiple services and system needs.

This first project with Arenko will be GE’s 19th and largest grid scale commercial battery energy storage solution worldwide.

“Arenko’s new battery system will provide much needed flexibility to the UK grid, reducing waste and helping to make energy bills cheaper for households and businesses. This project is very significant in addressing the UK’s long-term energy security concerns, enabling the transition to a low carbon energy future,” said Rupert Newland, chief executive at Arenko Group.

The two companies will seek to leverage the advantages of combining GE’s battery technology solution, power electronics and advanced controls with Arenko operational experience with batteries in the UK market and proprietary energy trading software platform.

“Energy storage will help balance supply and demand close to real time, avoiding frequency drifts and supporting the mid-term response to grid imbalances,” said Mirko Molinari, global commercial & marketing executive for energy Storage at GE Power.

“The flexibility it offers smooths the fluctuating nature of renewable energy, provides quick reserves when needed, stores excess energy generation and much more. Energy storage will enable a more efficient system for a more reliable supply of electricity to consumers.”

However, this is just the first of a number of projects GE and Arenko are said to be planning together, with a focus on building long term commercial sustainable battery storage systems not reliant on subsidies and incentives.

To date, GE has been involved in a number of energy storage projects and investments, including a recent investment into pay-as-you-go solar microgrid provider Off Grid Electric and said in September that it was at the very early stages of developing energy storage solutions in Mexico.

In April last year, the company was behind the deployment of what is thought to be the world's first battery-gas turbine hybrid energy storage system.

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