One of the Anesco storage units that store power from solar panels | Credit: Anesco
Landmark decision by Ofgem paves the way for wider roll out of grid-scale storage projects, developers say
Solar farms accredited under the Renewables Obligation (RO) subsidy scheme will retain their status even when the clean power they generate is fed to charge batteries, according to a landmark decision announced by Ofgem today.
The energy regulator told solar farm operator Anesco that its sites would retain their RO status even when co-located with battery storage, in a decision Anesco said represents a landmark moment for the rollout of energy storage technologies.
The move confirms solar farm operators will be able to receive Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) for energy used to charge batteries, as well as for that sent to the grid. The certificates represent the generation of green energy, and can be bought and sold by generators and suppliers to meet their renewable energy obligations.
“This decision is a game changer for the UK’s energy storage market,” Steve Shine, executive chairman of Anesco, said in a statement. “Ofgem has firmly cemented energy storage as being a vital part of the solution to keeping the country’s lights on’.”
Anesco has three RO-accredited solar sites across the country where battery storage arrays are also installed. The solar energy generated during the daytime is stored by the batteries ready for dispatch during periods of evening peak demand in order to help stabilise the grid.
Luke Hargreaves, head of renewables at Ofgem, said battery storage can help better match supply and demand, saving consumers money and smoothing the way to a low-carbon energy system.
Further guidance on how storage will work under the RO and Feed-in Tariff subsidy schemes will be jointly published by Ofgem and the government later this year, he added. “The recent decisions demonstrate that, where the necessary criteria are met, co-location of storage facilities at accredited renewable installations is possible under the current legislative framework,” he said.