Swindon to host one of UK’s largest battery projects

Public Power Solutions, a company owned by Swindon Borough Council, has submitted a planning application to build one of the UK's largest battery storage projects.

The standalone facility, which will be located on the site of a former municipal depot, will have a maximum output of up to 50MW and a storage capacity of up to 50MWh.

“We’re really excited that Swindon continues to lead the way with implementing innovative green energy technologies,” said the firm’s head of power solutions, Steve Cains. “Rapid technological advances have now made energy storage a viable proposition.

“This has the potential to be a real game changer, helping to integrate the variable generation from renewables, reduce costs for consumers, and build a clean energy system fit for the future. The site at Mannington is perfect for a facility like this, and we’d like to help other local authorities develop similar projects.”

Swindon Borough Council cabinet member for sustainability Toby Elliott, said: “I am really excited by this battery storage project, which builds on the success of our award-winning community solar farm schemes and shows that Swindon is once again blazing the trail in the clean energy field.

“It also shows how our inventive use of technology can generate an income for the council at a time when we are having to close a £30 million funding gap over the next two and a half years.”

Potential uses for the containerised batteries include arbitrage – buying power when prices are low and then selling it when prices rise – and the provision of balancing services to National Grid. They will also help to reduce the need for local grid reinforcements, lowering costs for consumers. The project is expected to have a 30-year lifespan.

In September, Drax announced it was considering building the world’s largest battery storage facility (200MW) at its colossal 3.8GW coal and biomass plant in Yorkshire. The current record holder is a 100MW facility in Australia, which Tesla finished building last week.

Tom Grimwood

This article first appeared on edie’s sister title website, Utility Week

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