National Grid to debut grid park energy superhub

National Grid to debut grid park energy superhub
Image: 123rf

National Grid is to debut its first ‘grid park’ in Bedfordshire, touted as an energy superhub, which will connect three separate customers to a supergrid transformer.

The transformer is being installed at a new 33kV substation on the site of the existing 400kV Sundon substation. EDF Renewables UK will be one of the first connections at the new Sundon grid park, which will see a 50MW battery connect to the grid as part of its nationwide energy superhub rollout.

Two additional grid-scale batteries are also being lined up to connect to the grid park, bringing almost 150MW of connection capacity and energy storage flexibility to the network – equivalent to over 300,000 homes being powered for an hour.

The grid park connection design allows three smaller customers to benefit from a single investment, aiming to minimise the need for outages and have less impact on the local network in the area. Longer term, the design is hoped to speed up renewable power connections to the transmission network as it’s rolled out across the country.

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Mark Beasley, the project’s director at National Grid, said: “Our first grid park build is an exciting development, a proof of concept for a new way to connect low carbon generation in an innovative and cost-efficient way in the future…Making new connections to the transmission system is a complex process and our new grid park design is no different – we still have to manage the build and any planned outages, and ensure impact on regional networks and local communities alike is minimised.”

The grid park project is part of National Grid’s ongoing investment across its transmission network to increase the grid’s capacity and make it easier to connect the renewable power needed for Britain to reach its net zero by 2050.

Mikey Clark, head of electricity connections at EDF Renewables UK, said: “To accelerate a net zero future and support more renewables we urgently need to scale-up the UK’s battery storage capacity. Streamlining the process for connecting to the grid is integral to achieving this and we’re proud to be working with National Grid to pioneer innovative new approaches like the Sundon grid park.”

Work by National Grid on additional new connections is also ongoing at substations in Sandwell and Coventry for two further grid-scale batteries as part of EDF Renewables UK’s Energy Superhub roll out.