GE’s Energy Storage business has announced  the first European sale of its Durathon energy storage system.  Western Power Distribution (WPD), a major distribution network operator in the U.K, will install five Durathon 100 kilowatt-hour energy storage systems during Q3 2013 as part of “Project FALCON” (Flexible Approaches to Low Carbon Optimized Networks), a four year project led by WPD.  

The project is partially funded through the U.K. Office of Gas and Electricity Markets’ (Ofgem’s) Low Carbon Network Fund and aims to develop a new computer-based modeling tool to identify the best way of delivering investment on the network. The system will be able to identify the most cost effective ‘smart’ or ‘conventional’ way of delivering additional network capacity to facilitate the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan. One of the ‘smart’ methods being trialed is Energy Storage.

“We selected the Durathon energy storage system because it provides the performance and functionality we need while being small enough to fit into our network’s substations,” said Ben Godfrey, Innovation and Low Carbon Networks Engineer with WPD.  “The real-time performance data collected during the trial will help us manage our network more efficiently, which, in the long run, should minimise costs for customers.”

The project will be the first time that GE Energy Storage has integrated its Durathon energy storage system with a distribution management system (DMS) in the European market.  WPD plans to install 100 kilowatt-hour systems at five of its high voltage substations in Milton Keynes, located 45 miles northwest of London. 

“This trial will demonstrate the impact that the Durathon energy storage system can have in a real-world, utility distribution network,” said Prescott Logan, General Manager of GE Energy Storage.  “It is designed to provide vital data that can be used to enhance utility services and reduce operating expenses — a savings that could ultimately be passed on to customers.”

During the trial, WPD plans to use the Durathon systems to enhance network efficiency through voltage support, improved power quality and electrical noise reduction.  The energy storage systems also are expected to help WPD defer expensive network upgrades.
Durathon is a trademark of General Electric Company.