In September 2020, Shell, Limejump and China Huaneng signed a contract to trade and optimise the power output from the largest battery asset in Europe, with a capacity of 100 MW. Limejump’s battery experience, backed by Shell’s creditworthiness by guaranteeing a minimum revenue from the battery, encouraged investors to commit and support the project in Minety, Wiltshire.
In July 2021, Limejump and Shell announced the groundbreaking energisation of Minety. The ‘first of its kind’ 100MW battery is connected to the UK’s National Grid, via the distributed network, helping to ensure the grid remains balanced in times of over or under supply – creating the flexible grid required to achieve net zero by 2050.
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Due to their short duration, batteries are not an easily ‘hedgeable’ asset in the traditional sense like a gas peaker. In the UK, most batteries earn revenue through participating in ancillary markets and trading in volatile prompt power markets – providing power when supply is scarce and being a source of demand when markets are oversupplied. Limejump has extensive battery optimisation experience, equating to over 44,000 hours managing grid-scale batteries in the UK, and has built a vast amount of proprietary software to help optimise and schedule battery assets, such as Minety, across different markets.
Minety’s full 100MW capacity was initially optimised into National Grid’s new Dynamic Containment (DC) product; a post-fault service to ensure frequency remains within the statutory range in the event of sudden demand drop or supply surge on the grid. The Limejump trading team has set the Minety batteries up as Balancing Mechanism (BM) units and can trade in this market alongside the wholesale power markets in periods of extreme prompt market volatility and energy scarcity. Minety will also be optimised into the Capacity Market (CM), benefiting from guaranteed payments every month in exchange for ensuring sufficient capacity is available.
Limejump’s Engineering team was instrumental in the energisation of the Minety battery. The team designed and implemented a system whereby Limejump can remotely dispatch stored energy when the grid requests it…within 1 second. This was achieved by installing our proprietary control panels on-site, plugged directly into the battery’s local controllers.
The control panel houses our proprietary hardware, which sends all data, ranging from commands to asset diagnostics, to Limejump’s platform. Working with our in-house tech teams, the hardware and software are linked to the Limejump cloud system via a data logger which Limejump calls ‘The Owl’. Limejump’s bespoke system delivers instructions to the batteries to charge or discharge based on the market that our Trading team has chosen to optimise the asset within. The system is designed with interoperability in mind: it can send & receive data from batteries of various manufacturers.
Minety is supporting the UK electricity system, by ensuring there is sufficient generation capacity available to meet peak periods of demand and helping ensure supply matches demand when delivering ancillary services, this is crucial for grid security. By participating in the UK’s Capacity Market, the battery helps protect against the risk of energy scarcity. To achieve a net-zero electricity system, we need to see large scale investment in renewable generation, battery storage and other emerging technologies. According to National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios 2021, we may see up to 13GW of batteries being built by 2030, up from 1.5GW live today. Batteries, like Minety, will be crucial to ensure we can keep the grid balanced as renewable energy penetration increases.
“Limejump have been instrumental in the design, build, delivery and optimisation of Europe’s largest battery. From the very beginning, when Minety was merely an idea, Limejump have supported us and fellow members of the supply chain in getting the project up and running. The project experienced delays due to events out of our control, however, Limejump continued to collaborate and assist other suppliers to try and recover lost time and ensure the battery’s performance will be second to none. The Battery is now live and operational, and we are already witnessing the benefits of this ground-breaking 100MW battery and the intelligent optimisation capability Limejump brings“