VFB LEAD: The World’s Largest Solar-Powered Flow Battery

As Phase 1 winners of the UK Government’s Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Longer Duration Energy Storage Competition (LODES), Invinity are working in collaboration with Pivot Power (part of EDF Renewables) and EDF R&D UK to scope and deliver a 40 MWh solar-powered Vanadium Flow Battery (VFB) in the UK.

Find out more about why this Long Duration Energy Storage project is so groundbreaking and what companies are involved below.

The Project

The Vanadium Flow Battery Longer duration Energy Asset Demonstrator (VFB LEAD) project sees Invinity once again working alongside EDF following the successful deployment of a 2 MW / 5 MWh VFB as part of the Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO). The VFB LEAD project aims to develop and deploy one of the UK’s largest co-located solar + storage projects, featuring a 10 MW / 40 MWh VFB hybridised with a lithium-ion battery and connected to a utility-scale solar PV array.

Invinity Energy Systems, alongside Pivot Power (part of EDF Renewables) and EDF R&D UK are amongst the 5 winners that progressed to Phase 1 (Project Development Stage) of the Longer Duration Energy Storage (LODES) Stream 1 Competition, intended to accelerate the commercialisation of long duration energy storage through large-scale demonstration projects. Three of the Phase 1 winners will proceed to Phase 2 (Construction Stage) funding. To find out more about the LODES competition winners, read the press release here.

Phase 1 of the competition will run until the end of 2022, during which EDF and Invinity will develop the project to a “ready to build” phase.

Down selection for the Phase 2 winners is expected by BEIS in Q2 2023 and, if successful, the project will progress to the construction phase. Once commissioned, the project is forecast to avoid up to 27,400 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Cutting-Edge Innovation

The VFB LEAD project will showcase breakthrough innovations in the field of co-located energy storage.

A True Co-located Approach

Large scale solar PV parks and battery energy storage systems have so far been deployed on the UK grid as standalone assets. VFB LEAD will see both systems co-located on the same connection point to maximise grid utilisation factor, helping to reduce transmission network expansion costs and accelerate the UK’s progress towards a net zero power sector by 2035.

 

Download our whitepaper on AC vs DC coupling for Solar PV + battery storage

A Hybrid Energy Storage System

Building on existing innovation at the Energy Superhub Oxford, VFB LEAD will follow a similar approach with a hybrid lithium-ion and vanadium flow battery system, albeit at a much larger scale and with a much more prominent VFB proportion of the system.

 

A Cost-Saving, DC-DC Coupled Architecture

As part of Phase 1 activities, Invinity, alongside its consortium partners, have looked at the benefits and drawbacks of coupling solar PV with the hybrid battery system on both the AC side and the DC side. Where AC coupling may be favoured in the short-term due to the commercial readiness of inverter solutions and the speed of response batteries required to participate in some grid ancillary services, in the future world of maximising efficiencies and batteries predominately time-shifting energy, DC coupling has a number of advantages.

We have summarised our findings in a whitepaper; use the form to download your copy today.

Project Partners

Click the links below to learn more about who we are working with on the VFB LEAD project.

Pivot Power
Habitat Energy
Kensa Contracting