Investment manager Quinbrook is set to start the construction of Fortress, the UK’s largest solar+energy storage system, in the first half of 2022.
The 350MW solar + battery storage project will be developed in Kent and will be the largest single-site solar PV installation in the UK. The project will produce enough electricity to power the energy demands of 100,000 UK households and reduce carbon emissions by 164,450 tonnes in its first year of operations.
The project is expected to help the UK improve energy security and reliability and to move a step closer to sustainability and decarbonisation goals.
The system will enable consumers to be provided with affordable and clean energy. Pairing energy storage with renewable energy is becoming a standard for energy companies to address the fluctuating nature of renewables.
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Rory Quinlan, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Quinbrook said: “Fortress is an excellent example of the scale of new renewables impact the UK needs to build not only to rapidly decarbonise the UK power sector but also to meet the 13% increase in electricity demand that the Ten Point Plan is expected to create by 2030.
“The acute power price volatility and security of energy supply concerns we have seen in the UK these past weeks highlight how critical new capacity investment in the UK will be to deliver the energy transition without further disruption. We plan for Fortress to play its part in helping to improve energy independence for the UK.”
Similar projects developed by Quinbrook include a $1.1 billion – 690MW solar/380MW battery storage plant in Nevada in the US.
Fortress secured regulatory approval for deployment from the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in May 2020. The project will be integrated with 24/7 tracing and tracking blockchain-enabled technologies for plant optimisation and carbon reporting. Energy generated from the plant will be integrated into the UK’s national grid.
Quinlan added: “Fortress provides a timely opportunity to showcase the application of advanced technologies that are critical to verify the carbon reductions available to our customers from Fortress. We think this is destined to become the standard for all energy supply projects in the years ahead.”
Quinbrook plans to work with local companies in constructing, operating and maintaining the project to ensure the economic benefits of the project are transferred to the local economy, according to a statement. The company expects the project to support approximately 1,000 jobs and contribute in excess of £100 million ($136.1 million) in local socio-economic contributions from lease payments to landowners and local taxes.