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Energy storage project launch

Trials of the Smarter Network Storage facility at Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire have begun.

The two-year testing exercise will be conducted by UK Power Networks to determine the effectiveness of the 6MW/10MWh battery.

Department of Energy and Climage Change parliamentary under secretary of state Amber Rudd MP witnessed the start of the trial on a site visit yesterday (15 December) to conduct the official “switching on” ceremony.

The Smarter Network Storage facility, claimed to be the largest electricity storage facility of its type in Europe, is located in one of Leighton Buzzard’s main electricity substations.

Housed within a 760 sq m building, it has two main rooms, one of which houses the transformers and inverter units converting electricity from direct to alternating current.

Energy storage is provided by the second room, through battery racks and modules.

One of the main aims of the project is to improve the harnessing of electricity produced by renewable energy.

The project has received funding of £13.2m from the Low Carbon Networks Fund, supplemented with £4m from UK Power Networks and £1.2m from business and academic institution partners.