Centrica Business Solutions has acquired a 30MW fully consented battery energy storage project, which will help manage North Sea offshore wind farms.
The two hour battery storage plant in Dyce, near Aberdeen, was developed by Cragside Energy Limited and backed by Omni Partners LLP.
It obtained planning consent in November 2021, and currently has a go-live date of mid-2024. Construction is expected to last eight months, and be aligned with its grid connection date.
As the offshore wind sector continues to grow in the UK – with research from RenewableUK this week showing there is now a pipeline of 86GW of offshore wind projects, more than eight times the current operational capacity – there is an increasing need to manage network constraints.
National Grid paid £244 million to wind farm operators to curtail generation in 2021, for example. Battery storage could help avoid such a cost, storing energy when the network is constrained and releasing it when generation is less abundant or demand higher.
An increase of 20GWh of battery storage could reduce the amount of wasted wind power in Great Britain by 50% for example, a report from LCP found in 2021.
“Battery storage can play a strategic role in helping to transition away from fossil fuels, by smoothing out the peaks and troughs associated with renewable energy generation,” said Bill Rees, director of Centrica Energy Assets.
“We should treat renewable energy like a precious resource and projects like this can help to maximise its efficacy.”
Beyond the Dyce energy storage site, Centrica Energy Assets is set to work with Cragside Energy to identify new opportunities in the space. The company already has a pipeline of more than 200MW, which includes energy storage, solar and peaking plants.
“Targeted investment into a complementary mix of technology and infrastructure is crucial if the UK is to fully harness its renewable energy potential,” said Ben Coulston, director of Cragside Energy.
“Battery storage, such as the project in Dyce, will contribute to the upkeep of a stable and resilient network and we have enjoyed partnering with Centrica as the project transitions into the next phase.”
Centrica Energy Assets meanwhile – a division of Centrica Business Solutions, which was launched in 2021 – is targeting 900MW of solar and battery storage assets by 2026.
To date, Centrica has completed over 85MW of solar projects in the UK, including a 4,000 panel project for the British Army at the Defence School of Transport near Beverley, Yorkshire.
Centrica Business Solutions is also expanding its battery optimisation activities, agreeing a 10-year contract for the optimisation of three battery storage plants totaling 89MW in February.