August saw the first entry of a battery unit into the UK’s Firm Frequency Response (FFR) balancing service.

Whilst the Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) service was set up specifically to create a route to market for batteries, it is not expected to see any further tender rounds and so does not provide an on-going opportunity for battery investment. This branching out of battery activity into the pre-existing FFR ancillary service demonstrates that other avenues are open to this technology, according to independent energy analysts, EnAppSys.
The entry of a battery into FFR marks a fundamental change in the way the frequency of the system is managed.

“FFR has historically been provided by technologies such as CCGT, pumped storage and reciprocating engines,” Katie  Fenn, analyst at EnAppSys told Power Engineering International. “In the August tender round, alongside the 48 MW of battery capacity, accepted contracts provided 26 MW of reciprocating engine capacity.  To put this in context, the total capacity contracted (over several tender rounds) for the month of August was 575 MW, of which combined cycle gas turbines were 255 MW, pumped storage 170 MW and reciprocating engines 150 MW.”

“The battery accepted into FFR was a 48 MW project, which tendered a 24/7 response over two years, including Triad periods. It was accepted into the dynamic sector of FFR, which requires fast response times, and is the natural next ancillary market for batteries after EFR.”

The accepted price for this battery was £15.60/MW/h and close to the £15.86/MW/h average for dynamic tenders accepted in the August round.

The battery will start providing FFR this December and will be acting in all three sub-sections of dynamic FFR: Primary, Secondary (both increases in output) and High (decrease in output).