The UK’s largest industrial project combining both battery and solar PV has begun – leading the way for future companies investing in greentech.

Business supplies firm Lyreco will soon be home to a ‘behind-the-meter’ Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), which will be used to provide valued services to the grid in addition to powering its busy 24-hour distribution centre in Telford, Staffordshire.

Energy solutions developer EvoEnergy has agreed the development, construction and financing for the BESS, which will be installed adjacent to Lyreco’s 3.8 MWp rooftop PV array. The solar system was completed by EvoEnergy in January 2016 and has since generated more than 5 GWh of electricity – equivalent to the annual electricity demand of 1,388 homes.

The BESS’s primary function will ‘absorb’ and ‘supply’ energy to and from the National Grid’s infrastructure to provide in-demand frequency balancing services. In addition, the BESS will continue Lyreco’s environmental commitments, in part charging the battery with electricity from the PV that would otherwise be exported back to the grid and strategically released back into the site to increase self-generated consumption and reduce Triad charges.

Peter Gojka, building services manager for Lyreco, said: “This is another innovative approach from Lyreco that follows on from our combination of roof mounted PV and ground mounted inverter technologies new to the UK. We are now taking that natural progression step of battery storage, which also ties in well with the Government’s recently announced Smart Energy Strategy.

“It makes full sense to store part of our energy production and assist the UK’s energy infrastructure through peak demand times, whilst also preparing for future requirements of our employees and visitors alike.”

Using Tesla battery and inverter technology, the 500 kW / 950 kWh BESS will deliver energy efficiency benefits over a 15-year arrangement with Lyreco. With construction already started, the project is expected to complete in October. During this period, EvoEnergy will also be installing electric vehicle (EV) charging points onsite to support Lyreco’s commitment for low-carbon travel among its workforce and visitors.

Mark Wakeford, managing director at EvoEnergy, said: “Lyreco is leading the way for how companies can use multiple technologies to achieve long-term energy independence, whilst also providing a service to the public to support and provide flexibility to meet future Government energy strategies.

“By understanding the benefits, the recent installations at Lyreco will create a blueprint for others to follow suit, helping many vastly reduce their Triad charges and only needing to pay for energy when it’s cheap.”

EvoEnergy has established itself as a leading developer and construction firm in the UK BESS market with the installation at Lyreco being the second utility sized BESS project that the company has secured this year. In March, EvoEnergy was awarded a 2 MWh battery for a new sustainable housing project at Trent Basin in Nottingham, which will be the UK’s first community energy battery system and provide a pilot for future, similar developments.