Utility Week

UTILITY Week 5th February 2016

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UTILITY WEEK | 5TH - 11TH FEBRUARY 2016 | 15 Operations & Assets This week GAS Centrica overhauls British Gas structure Centrica has announced a restructure and management overhaul of British Gas, reducing three business units to two. From April, British Gas Resi- dential, British Gas Services and British Gas Business will become UK Home and UK Business, reflecting Centrica's structure in North America. They will continue to trade mainly under the British Gas brand. ELECTRICITY Energy storage needs 'robust signals' National Grid and distribution network operators should give market players "longer-term reliable and robust signals" to encourage the uptake of energy storage technology in the UK, Npower has said. RWE Npower's strategic business development manager, Cogen & Generation Services, Graeme Dawson, said at an REA energy storage conference that signals from the system operator were "valuable" to other market players in determining the likely costs of ancillary services. He said the transmission system operator, National Grid, was "still learning" from the past 12 months about the effect of embedded generation on the sys- tem and how forecastable it is. Analysis on storage, p10 Innovate UK has brushed aside concerns around using elec- tric and plug-in vehicles as an energy storage facility, insist- ing they present a "car park of energy storage" for UK network companies aer 2025. Innovate UK's lead technolo- gist for energy systems, Mark Thompson, said at the Electricity Storage Networks annual meet- ing that fears that electric vehi- cle (EV) batteries would rapidly ENERGY Use of electric vehicle batteries for grid support is a 'no-brainer' degrade if used for grid support were unfounded. Innovation projects already undertaken into EV charging revealed that the batteries would be accessible to the grid 95 per cent of the time, he added. Thompson said much of the anxiety centred on battery recycling, but tests showed that using an EV battery to provide 7kW of grid support was equiva- lent to driving at just 20mph. London mayor Boris Johnson has hailed the Lee Tunnel as a "massive achievement" for British engineering and a "testament to our ambition for infrastructure". Speaking at the tunnel's official opening in London, hosted by Thames Water, he said it was "high time" the UK showed this kind of ambition in its infrastructure projects. "For too long we've been putting it off. For too long we've been failing to address it… for too long, frankly, we have been going through the motions," he said. "Now the River Thames will benefit from vast improvements to its water quality with less pollution and overflow." The 6.5km-long Lee Tunnel cost £678 million and is the first part of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, London's supersewer. Connecting Abbey Mills waterworks with Beckton on the Thames, it is London's deepest tunnel and the biggest project in the history of the UK's water industry since it was privatised in 1989. The main tunnel will be 25km long when it is finished in 2023 and will cost an estimated £4 billion. He said: "That is a modest amount of power, but aggre- gated would be very useful for a distribution network operator. "The stress level on that bat- tery of sitting there continually pushing out 7kW compared with a 35-minute journey is a no- brainer. It's an extremely calm and unstressful environment for that vehicle." He added that car manu- facturer Nissan had been "very vocal" on the potential benefits of using EVs for grid support because "there really isn't an issue compared with the com- plexities and stresses that the battery goes through for a pretty normal driving scenario". Projects such as My Electric Avenue found that vehicles were stationary at either the home or workplace – both potential charging locations – 95 per cent of the time.

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