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A123 Systems to supply battery energy storage solutions for the UK's Largest Smart Grid Project

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A123 Systems, a US-based developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries and systems, will supply six Grid Battery Systems (GBSs) to Northern Powergrid, an electricity distribution network operator that delivers power to more than 3.8 million customers in the UK.
A123 Systems to supply battery energy storage solutions for the UK

The GBSs will be designed for peak-load shifting and to manage fluctuations in voltage on the UK's power grid.

Expected to be operational by the end of 2012, the systems will be deployed as part of the Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR), the UK's largest smart grid project funded through the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets' (Ofgem) Low Carbon Networks Fund.

"The CLNR will evaluate a number of innovative network technologies to accommodate increasing quantities of low-carbon loads and renewable generation necessary to meet the U.K.'s climate change goals,” said Jim Cardwell, head of regulation and strategy at Northern Powergrid. “One aspect of this multifaceted project is to determine how the use of storage technology may reduce peak loading on our network and thereby offset the need for network reinforcement. A123's battery energy storage systems will showcase how such technology can be part of the U.K.'s low-carbon future."

A123's GBS storage systems, which include the company's Smart Grid Domain Controller, are designed to provide Northern Powergrid with robust solutions to more efficiently manage voltage regulation requirements to help maintain grid stability and power quality as more clean energy resources are added.

The six GBSs that A123 will supply to Northern Powergrid include a 2.5MW system, two 100kW systems and three 50kW systems. Each will be designed to maintain these power capabilities for up to two hours, adding flexibility to the distribution network and helping to provide consistent delivery of reliable power to customers.

"Grid operators around the world are faced with a variety of technical hurdles when trying to add significant renewable capacity. In the U.K., distribution networks often have limitations that make adding high concentrations of wind and solar difficult," said Robert Johnson, vice president of the Energy Solutions Group at A123. "Battery energy storage can overcome these challenges by efficiently managing the voltage levels of the power network, and we look forward to working with Northern Powergrid on the CLNR smart grid project, which we view as an excellent opportunity for A123 to showcase the versatility and performance of our GBS solutions."

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