The system will be installed by Wartsila, the global technology company, at the main power station, which is operated by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) in Lerwick.
The power station runs on diesel fuel and the new efficient energy storage system will enable a significant reduction in the plant’s emissions, its backers have claimed.
There are more than 2,200 inhabited islands across the EU, many of which rely on expensive fossil fuel imports for power. This can mean that they are more likely to experience more frequent and longer blackouts and is said to present “unique challenges” for the transition to net zero carbon emissions.
Bent Iversen, senior business development manager at Wartsila Energy, said: “The Shetland Islands are leading the way and providing a blueprint for other islands to follow.
“The learnings will enable us to plan the best net zero pathway for larger island nations – such as the whole of the UK.
“This project demonstrates that decarbonising energy systems can go hand-in-hand with increasing power system reliability and cutting costs. It will show how advanced flexible technologies can benefit communities all over the world as we strive to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy.”
Darren Hitchin, embedded generation manager at Lerwick Power Station, said: “As the electricity distribution network operator responsible for ensuring homes and businesses in Shetland receive a safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity, we’re investing in Lerwick Power Station to support full duty operations of the station until Shetland is connected to the GB electricity system.
“A reliable supply of electricity is essential to the local community and the North Sea oil companies operating out of Shetland. The Wartsila energy storage system will enhance the islands’ security of supply, while at the same time lowering our carbon footprint.”
The advanced energy storage system will provide grid balancing and essential back-up capabilities. The system will also provide increased energy system stability to enable existing wind turbines greater penetration onto the electricity grid.
The system will be supported with a ten-year service agreement, including maintenance for the software and hardware system components.