Plans for giant battery storage project aims to usurp gas hub proposals

Plans are being drawn up for a 30MW battery storage system in Northumberland, on a site once earmarked for a new gas hub.

Clean energy developer Enviromena announced this morning it is plotting a battery system near Blyth, in a region that is fast emerging as a major renewable energy hub.

The announcement comes just a day after the government approved funding for a major offshore wind cabling factory that is set to provide more than 200 jobs in the area. A giant electric vehicle battery plant is also being planned in Blyth by Britishvolt, and the world’s largest offshore wind project – the Dogger Bank Wind Farm – is being planned 130km off the coast.

If approved, the new planning application would supersede a previous permission for a gas generator that had been granted at the Sleekburn site, Enviromena said.

Lee Adams, European sales director for Envionmena, said he hoped the application would be approved by the autumn, noting that initial public engagement for the proposed battery scheme had been “extremely positive”.

“The site, which is coincidentally close to the Britishvolt gigafactory in Blyth, represents a significant investment by Enviromena,” he added. “It is a tremendously exciting project for us because it not only supports the increase in renewable wind power coming off the northeast coast, but also underlines our commitment to the area’s green industrial renaissance and the UK’s broader renewable ambitions.”

Enviromena’s plans for a battery storage project in the North West come just a few days after battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) fleet specialist Zenobē announced this week it had started construction of a 12MW/24MWh battery in Swindon, in partnership with Public Power Solutions , a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council.

The project, which has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, will be installed at the Waterside Innovation Hub, which also includes eight double-headed electric vehicle (EV) charging points, a 2.5MW solar farm at a landfill site, and a solar canopy.

And in further industry news this week, specialist low carbon investor Green Investment Group and renewable energy developer Bluestone Energy announced they have inked a joint development agreement to develop up to 2GW of battery storage projects across the UK.

Announcing the tie-up on Tuesday, the partners said they already had projects representing 970MW in early stage development having secured grid connection offers.

“GIG’s partnership with Bluestone Energy is an exciting step for us in the market, and we are looking forward to generating even more opportunities to accelerate the deployment of this critical technology,” said Greg Callman, global head of GIG Energy Technology. “Bluestone’s considerable expertise and GIG’s global experience make for a strong partnership that can drive forward the UK’s storage industry.”

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