5 MWh Vanadium Flow Battery Activated In UK By Invinity Energy

Invinity Energy Systems, the flow battery firm has joined developer Pivot Power (Part of EDF Renewables), to complete the storage component of the Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) project. The project combines a 50 MWh lithium ion battery storage system (from Wartsila) with a 5 MWh vanadium flow battery from Invinity Energy. The lithium battery was activated earlier in June this year.
The £41 million (US$54.2 million) project, was started to support Oxford’s goal of turning zero carbon by 2040 or earlier, by integrating rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging, hybrid battery storage, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies.
The completion makes it the largest vanadium flow + lithium-ion hybrid battery deployed in the UK or elsewhere, claims Invinity.
While Invinity’s vanadium flow batteries will serve as the first call in case of a power response, with the lithoum ion batteries being called into use only when power demand exceeds that provided by the flow battery. This will help extend the life of the lithium ion battery, as Vanadium flow batteries in any case have a longer cycle life of 25 years, matching the typical life of a solar or wind asset.
Since September, Invinity has installed 27 of its VS3 flow batteries, each the size of a 20ft shipping container, at the battery site alongside National Grid’s substation in Cowley, Oxfordshire. Combined these batteries can deliver over 5 MWh.
Invinity worked with battery trading optimiser Habitat Energy and power electronics supplier Gamesa Electric on the final integration and commissioning of the battery ahead of launch.
VFBs are well suited to the daily demands of making intermittent renewable generation available on demand. VFBs are non-flammable and are nearly 100% recyclable, enhancing their sustainability. And because of their long life, VFBs can deliver energy to the electric grid at extremely low levelised costs.
The UK has been pushing in a big way for more storage capacity, as the share of renewables in the grid shoots up. The country has also been open to experimenting with multiple storage technologies, be it gravity led, flow batteries or of course, Lithium ion batteries.