Pivot Power, the EDF subsidiary specializing in electric vehicle charging and battery storage, has joined forces with Finnish technology firm Wärtsilä to deliver two 50MW battery storage systems to the UK. The 100MW cumulative power storage will be placed across two sites.
The ten-year service agreement between the two companies has flexible performance guarantees according to representatives. The deal marks the Finnish company’s entrance to the UK energy market. It is also the largest storage deal the tech firm has undertaken to date.
Pivot Power has signed a ten-year service contract with Wärtsilä to install and manage two 50MW Li-ion battery storage systems in two sites, namely Kemsley in Kent and Cowley in Oxford. These systems are set to be operational by the end of 2020.
This deal is part of the efforts made by Pivot Power to develop and own as much as 2GW of high-volume power connections and grid-scale storage in the UK. The firm placed the order in December 2019, a month after Pivot Power became the subsidiary of EDF Renewables.
The battery storage sites will deliver flexible energy capacity that will support the EV charging infrastructure and enhanced renewables generation. Pivot has previously expressed its intention of installing 50MW battery storage along with around 100 chargers at 45 locations across the country.
This agreement is Wärtsilä’s largest battery storage deal in all of Europe as of writing, with the tech company seeing the UK as a burgeoning market.
Pivot Power engineering director Adrien Lebrun said the firm is committed to achieving a clean and electric future, pushing for the expansion of EV use in the UK. He stated that the Wärtsilä battery storage systems would allow the EDF Renewables subsidiary to utilise state-of-the-art technologies that will future-proof its investments.
Lebrun also believes the move carves a path towards the UK’s legally-binding net-zero economy goal by 2050.
Clean energy future
Wärtsilä Energy Business VP for Energy Storage and Optimisation Andrew Tang affirmed that a green energy future for the nation is deliverable. Their efforts include the project to promote a reliable, low-carbon, and cost-effective energy system that will consequently adopt clean transport and reduced carbon footprint in the UK.
Greensmith originally developed Wärtsilä’s energy systems before its acquisition by the Finnish company in 2017, which utilises advanced software GEMS for energy management. The firm has also made deals in the Caribbean, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
The GEMS platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to provide a smart way of managing large-volume storage systems. Wärtsilä stated its solutions could be adjusted dynamically, depending on market demand throughout several revenue streams.
As for Pivot Energy, the said deal supports the EDF Group’s goal of adding 10GW of storage in Europe by 2035, making it a leader in the industry. The project also enables the EDF Electric Mobility Plan, which highlights the power giant’s goal of being the leader in the UK, Italy, Belgium, and France by 2022, with over 75,000 charging points and 600,000 EVs to be distributed across the region.
Acquisition by EDF
Pivot Power was acquired by big six supplier EDF in November 2019, signalling a significant change in the way battery storage is to be shaped by the specialist. The startup has initially pursued a 2GW-strong, 40-asset energy storage portfolio, which will be placed across the UK strategically.
The forward-thinking programme of Pivot Power enhances EDF’s ambition of dominating the battery storage scenario. EDF already has an operational 49MW energy storage site in West Burton that is installed under the Enhanced Frequency Response of the National Grid.
Matt Allen, Pivot Power chief executive and co-founder, stated that EDF had provided the startup the credibility, increasing confidence in the delivery of the plans and projects of Pivot. He affirmed that the strategic buy-out and support of EDF to Pivot’s proposals had given their firm a higher value in the market.
EDF Energy CEO Simone Rossi said the Pivot Power acquisition displays the supplier’s commitment to transitioning towards low-carbon energy across the UK to reach the ambitious goal of decarbonising the economy by 2050.