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Energy / New battery storage system will help to lower power station’s carbon footprint

A NEW energy storage system is set to be installed at Lerwick Power Station, with hopes that it will bring a “significant reduction” in emissions at the diesel-powered facility.

The Wärtsilä battery system is expected to be delivered by mid-summer before becoming fully operational in September.

The 8MW/6MWh system will provide grid balancing and back-up capabilities, and give increased stability to “enable existing wind turbines greater penetration onto the electricity grid”.

A spokesperson for SSE said the benefit of renewable contribution to the network through the energy storage system means a reduction in the use of diesel generation.

It is estimated that the battery will reduce fuel consumption by 1,000 tonnes and overall CO2 emissions from Lerwick Power Station by five per cent annually.

The investment from SSEN comes ahead of Shetland being connected to the national grid by a transmission link, which is expected in 2024. The ageing power station is set to close around this time.

The power station’s embedded generation manager Darren Hitchin said: “As the electricity distribution network operator responsible for ensuring homes and businesses in Shetland receive a safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity, we’re investing in Lerwick Power Station to support full duty operations of the station until Shetland is connected to the GB electricity system.

“A reliable supply of electricity is essential to the local community and the North Sea oil companies operating out of Shetland, which is 200 kilometres from the northern tip of Scotland.

“The Wärtsilä energy storage system will enhance the islands’ security of supply, while at the same time lowering our carbon footprint.”

Wärtsilä Energy senior business development manager Bent Iversen said that Shetland could provide a “blueprint” for other islands to follow.

“The learnings will enable us to plan the best net zero pathway for larger island nations – such as the whole of the UK,” he said.

“This project demonstrates that decarbonising energy systems can go hand-in-hand with increasing power system reliability and cutting costs. It will show how advanced flexible technologies can benefit communities all over the world as we strive to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy.”

Late last year a new Wärtsilä engine was also installed at the power station.