ScottishPower wins approval to build 50MW super battery in Scotland

WCN Editorial Team 13 Jun 2019 EUROPE ENERGY & UTILITIES

Iberdrola’s Scottish subsidiary ScottishPower has secured planning approval from the Scottish government to build a 50MW super battery at the 539MW Whitelee wind farm near Glasgow, UK.

ScottishPower stated that the purpose-built energy storage site will support the National Grid in maintaining resilience and stability of the electricity grid, at times when the wind is not blowing.

The system can provide reactive power and frequency response to the grid, strengthening control and flexibility.

The battery facility will be built on a vacant land within the Ardochrig substation compound, which is located to the east of the wind farm. This will allow the system to be connected directly to the grid, thereby optimising the existing infrastructure.

The installation work is expected to begin early next year and the facility will be fully operational by the end of next year.

ScottishPower CEO Keith Anderson said: “This is a significant step forward in the road to baseload for renewable energy. We know that renewable energy generation needs to quadruple and we know that onshore wind is the cheapest form of green energy.

“By integrating storage technologies with onshore wind, we are blowing away one of the myths about renewable generation not being available when you need it.

“Natural resources like wind and solar are variable in their very nature, and by using a battery we can ensure we optimise our ability to use the resource most effectively.

“This is another step forward by ScottishPower in investing clean, green and flexible generation to fully displace historic fossil fuel generation.”

Local planning permission for the facility was granted by South Lanarkshire Council last month and Scottish Ministers approved the proposal few days ago.

Claimed to be the first for a wind farm in the UK at this scale, the battery storage system will use lithium-ion technology. It is also claimed to get fully charged, when connected to the wind farm, in less than an hour.

The battery facility will improve the capacity of storing excess energy generated from the wind farm at times, when the demand is low or wind is high.

Keith Anderson continued saying: “If we are to meet the bold target of net zero by 2050 and deliver the decarbonisation of our economy, transport and heating systems, large battery storage facilities such as this along with more windfarms like Whitelee are crucial.”

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Image: Rendering of ScottishPower’s battery storage facility. Photo: Courtesy of Scottish Power Ltd.

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