Generator-retailer SSE is making its first connection in Britain’s sparky market for grid-scale storage, acquiring rights to Harmony Energy’s 50 MW battery development in Salisbury. That number is planned to expand tenfold.
Richard Cave-Bigley, the supplier’s director for distributed generation and storage, said storage would occupy a more prominent role in future UK energy, as more intermittent renewables take the place on grids of baseload fossil fuels.
“Our distributed energy division has ambitions to build a significant portfolio of batteries,” he said.
“We’re looking at around 500MW of early-stage opportunities.We hope (this) announcement signals the seriousness of our intent in this market.”
SSE claims to control the largest renewables portfolio in the UK and Ireland. It intends its ‘whole system approach’ to play a significant role in emerging flexible markets, accelerating Britain’s path to net zero and create a more resilient energy system”.
Getting the Wiltshire project to a construction-ready stage had been four years in the making, according to Harmony EnergyCEO Peter Kavanagh.
“It’s great for SSE to have shown their confidence and enable our divestment,” he said.
“We share their vision and passion to help accelerate the deployment of energy storage which is fundamental to the UK’s energy mix and enabling the reduction of carbon emissions.”
The county of Wiltshire, within the DNO domain of Western Power Distribution, has attracted significant recent investment in grid-scale storage.
Minety, forty miles from SSE’s purchase in Salisbury, is the location for two more 50 MW power packs. Developed by Penso Power for owners including China Huaneng Group, and with its power traded by Shell’s Limejump, the facility is mooted for extension as far as 150 MW.