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Successful ScottishPower project showcases power of batteries in energy system

31/12/2020

  • ScottishPower Renewables exports energy from battery storage system for first time
  • Milestone heralds start of exciting 1GW battery pipeline across the SPR portfolio – including the 50MW Whitelee ‘super battery’
  • Growing role for battery storage as it becomes a critical part of the energy system

Energy has been exported from a commercial 1MW battery energy storage system connected to Carland Cross windfarm in Cornwall for the first time thanks to a successful joint venture between ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) and Centrica.

The important milestone – a first for ScottishPower, and its Spanish parent group, Iberdrola – means the energy stored in the battery will soon be available to the Cornwall Local Energy Market (LEM) initiative, helping balance electricity supply and demand at a local level.

It also marks the start of an exciting pipeline of almost 1GW of battery storage projects for SPR across its portfolio in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

This includes two battery projects currently under construction in the Republic of Ireland as well as the Whitelee 50MW ‘super battery’, just south of Glasgow.

In the journey to Net Zero, batteries will play a key role in delivering the modern and flexible energy system that’s needed to achieve ambitious government targets and provide a cleaner and greener future for everyone.

They will also help the electricity system operator balance the supply of electricity to meet demand by providing extra power resources when needed.

Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “With renewables set to become the backbone of the electricity system in the UK, we need to ensure the infrastructure is in place to make the best possible use of our fantastic natural resources to provide clean power and services to the grid when needed – not just when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining.

“Batteries, like the one at Carland Cross – which may be small in scale but considerable in terms of what it means for the local energy system in Cornwall and what it means for ScottishPower – mark a new era for renewable generation. This will change the way the grid is managed by storing excess energy, so that it can be exported when the demand is there, or there’s a need to support grid resilience and operations.

“This will revolutionise the role of renewable technology in the electricity system and ensure more and more of the electricity we use on a daily basis – which will only grow as we make the move to electric vehicles and heating – comes from a renewable source. We know that matters to our customers, it matters to our country, and it matters to our planet.

“This really is a moment of history for ScottishPower and Iberdrola. What started as a small 1MW battery in Cornwall has launched an innovative programme that will create a clean and green legacy for generations to come, ensuring we can all enjoy a better future, quicker.”

ScottishPower Renewables also achieved another milestone in December with the first export of renewable energy from some of the wind turbines at Halsary windfarm in the north of Scotland – one of two onshore windfarms currently under construction.

Halsary

Halsary – which will comprise 15 turbines and have an operating capacity of around 30MW – is expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2021.

Lindsay added: “In what has been an incredibly challenging year for all of us, I’m very proud we have reached these landmark moments and are continuing to move forward on our journey to Net Zero. We’re looking forward to doing even more of the same next year.”

Construction works for a 10MW solar scheme at Carland Cross windfarm are expected to get underway in early 2021. This will make Carland Cross the UK’s first utility scale -energy park, combining wind, solar and storage, and the first hybrid site in the Iberdrola portfolio.

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