Batteries could provide almost as much storage as pumped hydro in four years time – if projects that have prequalified for the upcoming T-4 Capacity Market auction win contracts.
Over 2GW of battery storage projects have prequalified to enter the auction, mainly using lithium ion batteries.
Battery Energy Storage Services, an offshoot of RES, has the largest potential storage portfolio. It has prequalified a series of new-build battery units at the KIngsnorth Industrial Estate in Kent totalling over 570MW. The company has also prequalified units totalling 200MW at Petre St in Shefffield, nearly 200MW near Jarrow Road, Port of Tyne, and 90MW at Fitzwise Yard in Chesterfield. The company is seeking 15 year contracts.
The UK currently has around 2.4GW of pumped hydro storage, from three large sites, First Hydro’s Dinorwig and Ffestiniog plants in north Wales and Scottish Power’s Cruachan plant in Scotland. SSE also offers storage at its Foyer plant. First Hydro, part of Engie, is seeking 15-year contracts in order to refurbish two 90MW units at the aging Ffestiniog plant.
One new pumped storage plant has prequalified for a potential 15-year contract, that is the Glyn Rhonwy Pumped Storage Facility, which will use a former quarry as water storage. It will offer 49.9MW.
Meanwhile, two new large scale gas-fired plants have pre-qualified for the auction, seeking 15-year contracts.
ESB – which started up the Carrington plant this year – plans to take forward a second plant at Knottingley in West Yorkshire. The plant’s two units would each generate 743MW. Calon Energy has also prequalified its project at Willington near Derby, which would be rated at 1440MW. The project already has planning permission. Calon Energy which currently operates the Sutton Bridge, Baglan Bay and Severn Power plants.