The Scottish Government has given utility Scottish Power the go-ahead to install Europe’s biggest industrial-scale battery to date to store energy generated at the 539MW Whitelee onshore wind farm.
The 50MW capacity battery, set to be operational in 2020, will be the size of half a football pitch, and will capture power generated by the facility’s 215 turbines. It will be capable of reaching full charge in an hour, says developer Scottish Power.
That means it will be able to provide reactive and frequency response to the UK’s National Grid, enhancing flexibility and grid control.
Whitelee is capable of powering just under 300,000 homes, equivalent to all the households in Glasgow.
This is the first of 6 similar projects to be undertaken by Scottish Power at its largest renewable energy sites by the end of 2020.
Keith Anderson, Chief Executive at Scottish Power added: “This is a significant step forward in the road to base-load for renewable energy. We know that renewable energy generation needs to quadruple and we know that onshore wind is the cheapest form of green energy.
“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. This is another step forward by Scottish Power in investing clean, green and flexible generation to fully displace historic fossil fuel generation.”