Independent energy company InterGen, based in Edinburgh, has been granted consent for the UK’s largest battery energy storage project. The project is more than ten times the size of the UK’s current largest operational project and will be one of the world’s largest. It will provide fast-reacting power and system balancing to support the integration of renewable energy sources and is a significant piece of system architecture critical to the UK’s transition to Net Zero.
InterGen, which currently supplies around 5% of the UK’s power generating capacity, has been granted consent by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for a lithium-ion battery energy storage project as part of its Gateway Energy Centre development on the river Thames in Essex.
The £200 million project will have a capacity of at least 320 MW/640 MWh, with the potential to expand to 1.3 GWh. It can supply customers direct but will mostly be used to provide fast-reacting power and system balancing.
Fluence, a Siemens-AES joint venture, is providing the battery energy storage technology, based on its Gridstack system. Construction is scheduled to commence in 2022, with operation of the project anticipated for 2024.
Additionally, InterGen are looking to progress another battery energy storage project as part of its Spalding Energy Expansion development in Lincolnshire, UK. This project will have a capacity of 175 MW/350 MWh and has already been granted consent by BEIS.
For context – the world’s largest operational battery energy storage project is LS Power’s Californian Gateway project which has a capacity of 230 MW/230 MWh, with an expansion of 250 MW/250 MWh currently underway. Similar projects are located in Australia, the USA and Saudi Arabia, with target capacities of up to 400 MW/1.6 GWh.
Ramboll has supported InterGen on both the Gateway Energy Centre and Spalding Energy Expansion developments since their inception, and since 2014 has providing engineering and environmental consultancy services for the consents to allow for the battery energy storage elements.