We've been hearing about battery storage for some time. Not your average batteries however. Think shipping containers or warehouses filled with tens of thousands of lithium-ion batteries and you're in the right ball park. These energy storage projects are starting to crop up all over the globe and all are designed to capture and store energy that can be used at the flick of a switch to balance the supply on the grid. This is particularly handy as grids have to deal with a lot more intermittent power from renewable sources, like wind. This week, the U.K. kick-started its own efforts to bring battery power to its nationwide electricity grid.

The country’s grid operator, National Grid, announced the results of the world’s first energy storage auction which attracted 37 bidders, most of which were pitching battery storage solutions. Eight companies have been awarded contracts to provide 200 megawatts (MW) of grid-scale battery storage, which National Grid said will save the country £200 million ($262 million).

The Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) contracts were awarded to EDF Energy Renewables (London, England) , Vattenfall AB (Stockholm), Renewable Energy Systems (RES) (Kings Langley, England) , Low Carbon (London), Element Power (Portland, Oregon), E.ON (XETRA:EOAN) (Düsseldorf, Germany) and Belectric (Kolitzheim, Germany).

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