The Scottish government has granted consent for the UK’s largest onshore wind farm to be equipped with battery storage capacity, Scottish Power Renewables has announced.
The developer will install a 50 MW lithium ion battery at the 539 MW Whitelee wind farm. The battery will be one of the largest in the UK and will support the National Grid in maintaining the resilience and stability of the electricity grid.
The project will be the largest wind energy-battery storage site in the UK. The battery will be capable of achieving full charge in less than an hour, enabling it to be on standby to provide services like reactive power and frequency response to National Grid.
Keith Anderson, ScottishPower Chief Executive, 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. This is another step forward by ScottishPower in investing clean, green and flexible generation to fully displace historic fossil fuel generation.
The battery facility will be constructed on vacant land within the Ardochrig substation compound which lies to the eastern edge of the existing windfarm site, allowing for a straightforward connection to the grid, ScottishPower said.
Installation work is expected to start early next year with the facility fully operational by the end of 2020.
ScottishPower operates almost 40 wind farms around the UK and is “seeking to put similar arrangements in place at many of its other windfarms, with potential for batteries to go onto solar and future wind sites too”, it said in a statement.