The Scottish Government has approved plans to install a 50MW battery at ScottishPower’s Whitelee wind farm.
The lithium ion battery will be the size of half a football pitch. Scottish Power claimed it would be the largest windfarm battery in the UK, capable of achieving full charge in less than an hour. It will be usd to provide reactive power and frequency response to National Grid.
The battery will be on vacant land within the Ardochrig substation compound which lies to the eastern edge of the existing windfarm site, allowing for a straightforward connection to the grid, thereby optimising the existing infrastructure arrangements. Installation work is expected to start early next year with the facility fully operational by the end of 2020.
Keith Anderson, ScottishPower chief executive, said: “By integrating storage technologies with onshore wind, we are blowing away one of the myths about renewable generation not being available when you need it. Natural resources like wind and solar are variable in their very nature, and by using a battery we can ensure we optimise our ability to use the resource most effectively….
“If we are to meet the bold target of net zero by 2050 and deliver the decarbonisation of our economy, transport and heating systems, large battery storage facilities such as this along with more windfarms like Whitelee are crucial.” The company has around 40 wind farms around the UK and said it is seeking to put similar arrangements at many of them, with potential for batteries to go onto solar and future wind sites too.
Local planning permission for the battery storage facility was granted by South Lanarkshire Council in May with Scottish Ministers rubber stamping the proposal on Monday 10th June.