The North-east industrial cluster of Teesside is set to be the location for a planned 360 MW battery storage system, billed as Europe’s largest.

Sembcorp Energy yesterday revealed it wants locate the device on land it owns in the 2,000 acre Wilton International industrial park at Redcar.

Sembcorp already operates 70MW of battery storage, and intends bringing forward a further 50MW early in 2022.

The developer anticipates up to new 70 jobs will be associated with the device’s construction and operation. Once further planning approval is secured, the company plans a ‘swift installation’. No timescales are confirmed.

With partners Sembcorp announced in July plans for Whitetail Clean Energy,  a 300MW Net Zero power plant on Teesside to be built with government backing. Using a process known as the Allam Cycle, Whitetail will use super-critical CO2 derived from natural gas burned with pure oxygen to drive turbines. The method is claimed to be inherently emissions-free.

Grid-scale batteries chasing flex revenues are proliferating across Britain’s grid.

In 2020 D-BEIS lifted the ceiling on permitted grid-scale batteries,
authorising amp-hotels over 49.9MW in England and equivalents over 350MW in Wales.

Minety in Wiltshire currently houses Europe’s biggest battery, the 100 MW device originated, operated and co-owed by Penso Power, and extended from its original 50MW.  Limejump optimises the facility, whose output is taken by Shell, its owner.

Zenobe are planning a 107 MW project near Chester.   Other UK developments proposed or under construction include GE’s collaboration announced in October with Conrad Energy.

The well established pattern of flex trading and DSR services sold to the grid underpins the Sembcorp project’s revenue model.  The company highlights its intended kit’s response time of “milliseconds”.

Andy Koss, Sembcorp chief executive, said: “Now, more than ever, flexible energy sources play an increasingly important role in maintaining secure and reliable energy supplies. With a growing reliance on renewables, the UK energy system needs to be flexible and able to respond quickly to changes,” said for the UK and Middle East .

Energy minister Greg Hands greeted the announcement: “As Britain shifts to a greener electricity grid on our path to net-zero, flexible energy storage will be key to ensuring we get the full benefit from our world-class renewables.

Wilton International is a hub for plastics recycling, biofuels and chemical manufacturing.

Controversial ‘blue’ hydrogen, soon to grow in availability at Wilton International, also drives the project.  Sembcorp intends to purchase blue hydrogen from BP, which is planning a facility with up to 1GW of capacity by 2030 at Teesside.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story implied the 360 MW battery was Sembcorp’s extension of an earlier application.   We are pleased to correct and clarify as above. We also correct an earlier erroneous attribution of the Minety 100MW project to Pivot Power. As in the text above, Penso Power originated, developed and co-owns the Minety project. Its output is optimised by Limejump for offtaker Shell, parent of the latter.    


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