Over 1GW of new power storage was announced this morning for Scotland’s transmission grid.

Innovators Xenobe revealed plans for three amp hotels with a combined 1 GW capacity to ease congestion at hubs in the Southern Uplands.

And international developers Anesco celebrated planners’ green light for their first project north of the border, a 50MW battery close to a substation at Rothienorman, Aberdeenshire.

Famed as the British Isles’ supposed “Saudi Arabia for wind”, Scotland’s generation capacity notoriously is underserved by its transmission network, which comes under strain at times of peak generation. SNP politicians increasingly complain of forced exports and unjustifiable high prices paid by the nation’s consumers.

Xenobe has committed a total of £750 million to its batteries at Blackhillock, Kilmarnock South and Eccles. The first will start operations by next summer.  Nominal capacity of the trio is 1GW, and combined output is rated at a potential 2GW.

Together the units could cut £1 billion off household bills over fifteen years, James Basden, Zenobe’s co-founder and director, claimed.

“It’s a step change in using battery storage at a large scale to enable the UK and elsewhere to take on large amounts of renewable power,” said Basden. “It enables us to put more wind power onto the transmission network.”

Choke points on Britain’s grids have led to claims that as much as 20% of wind output is wasted on the windiest of days.  Ultimately, the UK plans to spend over £50 billion to upgrade the power networks to incorporate all the new renewable generation.

Anesco has built more than 100 solar farms worldwide.  Rothienorman forms part of its 440MW UK pipeline of new PV and battery projects.

Located on land described as “agriculturally low grade”, the Aberdeenshire project has a notional lifespan of 40 years.  Promised ecological improvements will lift existing fauna and flora biodiversity by up to 50%. Native trees will be planted along one boundary, and a new wildflower meadow will be created. The rest of the site will be farmed as before.

Construction is expected to begin next year and to be completed in early 2024.

This year the company opened its first subsidiaries outside the UK, with the creation of Anesco Netherlands and Anesco Germany.

CEO Mark Futyan commented: “We’re delighted to receive approval for the Rothienorman battery site. Energy storage has a vital role to play in the UK’s transition energy network, providing the flexibility needed to support the growing number of clean power sources.

“As with all our sites, biodiversity is a key focus and we will be making significant improvements designed to support local wildlife throughout the lifetime of the project.”


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