Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire in England is going to be home to the first test of the largest energy storage battery in Europe.

The trial of cutting-edge energy storage technology will test new methods of capturing electricity for release over long periods, evening out the bumps and troughs of supply and demand that plague the electricity grid. Finding ways of storing power from wind and solar generation is key to maintaining a constant source of energy.

At the electricity substation serving Leighton Buzzard, three companies are hoping to deploy one of the biggest batteries ever constructed, using lithium manganese technology. The £18.7m project will form the centrepiece of a trial of energy storage that could have far-reaching implications for the renewables sector. The three companies – S&C Electric Europe, Samsung SDI and Younicos – have gained £13.2m backing from the UK taxpayer for their 6 megawatt capacity battery installation, which will absorb and release energy to meet the demands of the grid. The first results are not expected until 2016.

Because of the ability for battery storage to reinforce the power grid when implemented on a large scale, this demonstration has the opportunity to show how battery storage can save the UK £3 billion per year, within the next decade.

To read more, visit The Guardian.

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