Battery collaboration with the University of Sheffield to revolutionise the way we use energy – SSE’s grid balancing technology, Enhance, is the latest tool in the battle against climate change.


SSE Energy Solutions’ latest software innovation which maximises the efficiency of mega batteries has been deployed at one of the world’s leading energy research centres. 

The Enhance platform will manage the operation of the 2 MW battery at the University of Sheffield’s Willenhall Energy Storage facility.

The £4m research facility is part of the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Research into Electrical Energy Storage and Applications (CREESA) which aims to advance the development of an affordable and clean energy future that is secure and sustainable.

The intermittency of renewable energy sources like wind and solar have been seen as a limiting factor in their adoption. Energy storage solutions have the potential to balance such fluctuations. SSE’s Enhance provides the means to monitor and manage costs and performance of battery sites.

The Enhance platform works by preventing the battery from taking power from the grid at times of peak usage and by feeding stored energy back to the grid when local demands on the battery are lower. The platform grants access to the wholesale energy market as well as the Balancing Mechanism, the open auction through which the National Grid buys power to keep the grid in balance.

SSE engaged with researchers from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering on a knowledge exchange project relating to the operation of grid-connected energy storage assets. The project has enabled SSE to connect their first energy storage control system into their SSE Enhance platform. 

The partnership has provided SSE with the opportunity to integrate new ideas coming from the UK research community into SSE’s mission, accelerating the development and optimisation of the platform. Professor Dan Gladwin, who works within the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, has been operating and optimising the energy storage assets at Willenhall for over eight years. Through the project SSE have benefited from Professor Gladwin’s established expertise working with the system at the site.

The research and refinement of the Enhance platform in energy storage solutions at the Willenhall site is invaluable to SSE as Enhance will be deployed at their first 50 MW battery project in Salisbury. The battery will be the first of SSE Energy Solutions’ grid-scale solar and battery projects to support access to clean, reliable energy by balancing the intermittency of renewables.

Eunice Mabey, Director of Digital Services at SSE Energy Solutions, said:

“Our new Enhance software solution is part of SSE’s mission to develop a resilient, sustainable energy system in the UK. The solution has been developed to meet the opportunities of a decentralised, more complex energy market driven by the need to decarbonise energy using intermittent renewable generation. It enables SSE to flex and optimise our own energy assets and also third-party energy assets. It gives users the information and control they need to get their Whole System performing at its best, from energy generation to peak-balancing to the sale of excess capacity.

At SSE we take a Whole Systems Thinking approach to today’s challenges, whether it’s decarbonising our transport systems with EVs and greener ports or making the grid more suitable for renewable energy assets.

SSE’s ‘decade of delivery’ is well underway, and we see leveraging technology and optimisation software like our Enhance platform as a key component to unlocking the solutions for our Net Zero targets. By having access to Enhance, the University of Sheffield will have an opportunity to pioneer research into energy market optimisation strategies and enabling technologies. We are proud and excited to be able to work together on this project. 

Professor Dan Gladwin, Deputy Head of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said:

“Our research is focused on achieving net-zero across the energy system through the increased integration of energy storage. We have completed many successful pilots of new technologies and continue to operate assets at grid-scale that enables us to innovate in real-world conditions. 

Working with companies such as SSE is essential to ensure that our research and knowledge can be translated to achieve the environmental and economic impact that energy storage can deliver. We are pleased that we have been able to support SSE in the successful development of the Enhance platform for energy storage applications and look forward to the continuing this exciting partnership.”




About SSE Energy Solutions

SSE Energy Solutions provides local energy infrastructure solutions to decarbonise organisations, along with clean, renewable energy for customer’s businesses. With a whole-system approach, SSE is a leader in developing low-carbon assets and infrastructure that the UK requires in order to reach its target of net zero emissions by 2050.

SSE builds flexible networks to deliver the sustainable energy that people need to heat their homes and businesses, drive their cars, and power their lives, by decarbonising transport, heat, and energy systems.

For more information about SSE’s decarbonisation projects:

SSE’s Net Zero Acceleration Plan

In the UK and Ireland, SSE champions clean energy. It has increased clean energy investments by 65% to a total of £12.5bn by 2026 and is spending £7m a day to unleash the low-carbon infrastructure that the UK needs for its net zero transition.

By 2026, SSE’s Net Zero Acceleration Programme will deliver:

  •  £1bn additional capital investment per year versus previous plans.
  •  A doubling of existing renewables net installed capacity to 8GW.
  •  A sustainable renewables development pipeline in excess of 15GW including Solar & Battery Storage.
  •  Over 2.5 times more capital allocated to renewables growth.
  •  Growth in electricity networks, by increasing Regulated Asset Value (RAV) to £9bn.


University of Sheffield Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, and Centre for Research into Electrical Energy Storage and Applications (CREESA)

About the University of Sheffield
The University of Sheffield is a leading Russell Group university, with a world-class reputation. Over 30,000 students from 150 countries study at Sheffield. In a truly global community, they learn alongside over 1,500 of the world’s leading academics.

Sheffield’s world-shaping research feeds into its excellent education. Students learn at the leading edge of discovery from researchers who are tackling today’s biggest global challenges.

Driven by outstanding people, staff and students share a commitment to changing the world for the better, through the power and application of ideas and knowledge.

From the first documented use of penicillin as a therapy in 1930, to building Europe’s largest research-led manufacturing cluster, Sheffield’s inventive spirit and top quality research environment sets it apart.

Current research partners include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many government agencies and charitable foundations.

Sheffield’s Students’ Union has won the Whatuni Student Choice Award for Best Students’ Union for six consecutive years. Students can choose from 350 societies and clubs, or join over 2,000 volunteers.

Over 300,000 Sheffield alumni from 205 different countries make a significant influence across the world, with six Nobel Prize winners included amongst former staff and students.

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