Energy infrastructure developer Carlton Power this morning announced it has won planning approval to install the world’s biggest known electricity storage device on a site on Manchester’s Trafford industrial park.

The £750 million project – artist’s impression pictured – will have as its centrepiece a 1GW (1040MW / 2080MWh) device, to be located at the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park, south of the city. Planners at Trafford Council recently green-lit the scheme.  It rounds off a projected £ 2 billion of low carbon investment in south Manchester.

Carlton anticipate construction of the mega-project will begin in 2024’s first quarter, with operations following twelve months later.  Financing talks with a prospective funder are now at an ‘advanced’ stage, the company said.

The Trafford BESS is Carlton Power’s second major energy project to be consented for its 12 hectare Trafford Energy Low Carbon Park, eight miles south of central Manchester.

The first is Carlton’s 200MW Trafford Green Hydrogen scheme. At between 15MW and 20MW, the first phase of that £50 million project is also set to serve its first customers in early 2025.

Four months ago the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero shortlisted its first phase candidates to receive finance from its Hydrogen Business Model-cum-Net Zero Hydrogen Fund in their first allocation round (HAR1).

Rated at 200MW, Trafford Green Hydrogen had been consented in September by the planners. Like today’s grid-supporting battery, it is the UK’s largest consented scheme in its respective technology.

Carlton Power also recently secured planning permission for one of the UK’s first hydrogen pipelines at the Trafford site.

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In addition to Carlton Power’s two projects, Highview Power Storage is gearing up to operate the world’s first commercial system for liquid air storage at the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park.

Highpower’s liquid air storage project is a £250 million, 250MWh long duration system, based on very low temperature cryogenics.

Located close to the Manchester Ship Canal, the project will stand on ground adjacent to ESB Energy’s £750m Carrington flexible gas-fired power station, which began generating in September 2016.  The plot previously accommodated a coal-fired station, closed isince the early 1990s.

Carlton Power’s founder and CEO Keith Clarke said: “We acquired the former coal fired power station in 2008 to redevelop the site for new energy projects.

“With the approval now of the battery and energy storage system, this brings the total investment value of the site to £2 billion, delivering significant economic benefits to the Greater Manchester region and helping to deliver the regional Net Zero targets.

“The investment in the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park over the next 2-5 years demonstrates Carlton’s long-term vision and commitment to re-energising the Trafford site.”

Trafford Council’s leader Cllr Tom Ross, who doubles as Green City regional lead for Manchester, said:

“The Trafford BESS, alongside the Trafford Green Hydrogen scheme, places Trafford and Greater Manchester at the forefront of the UK’s energy transition.

“The two schemes will help address our climate crisis, and will support our region’s plan to reach a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2038.  I applaud Carlton Power’s long-term vision in developing the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park.”

Chris McKerrow, Head of Carlton Power’s European BESS Development said: “Our BESS scheme will make a significant contribution to the resilience of the North West’s energy system and, combined with our green hydrogen scheme and the cryobattery project, underlines Trafford Park’s importance to the energy transition in the region and the journey towards Net Zero.”

“Trafford Council and other local organisations, like the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, recognize the importance of the BESS and the green hydrogen scheme to the energy transition, to inward investment and to the regeneration of land, much of it vacant for over 20 years. We are delighted to have secured planning consent for the world’s largest BESS and our focus now turns towards financing and building the scheme.”

The company has 3.5GW of battery energy storage schemes in development across England and Scotland with connections ranging from 2025 to 2031.  Its pipeline also includes more than 250MW of green hydrogen projects.

Over its 25 years of existence, Carlton Power has brought into operation over 3.5GW of gas fired generation and 9MW of solar across Britain.  It operates from offices in north Yorkshire and Edinburgh.


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