ScottishPower’s plans to build a 50MW battery next to its Whitelee onshore wind farm have been rubber stamped by the Scottish government.
The would-be project will combine a 50MW lithium-ion battery with the 539MW onshore wind farm, the UK’s largest, located at Eaglesham Moor, south of Glasgow.
The utility has described the project as the first for a wind farm in the UK at this scale, and will be able to fully charge in less than an hour.
The project was granted local planning permission by South Lanarkshire Council last month, and Scottish ministers approved it yesterday.
Keith Anderson, chief executive at ScottishPower described the development as a “significant step forward” towards regarding renewable energy as baseload.
“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.
“If we are to meet the bold target of net zero by 2050 and deliver the decarbonisation of our economy, transport and heating systems, large battery storage facilities such as this along with more wind farms like Whitelee are crucial,” he said.
Project development work is now expected to start early next year and the battery is to be fully operational by the end of 2020.
Earlier this year ScottishPower unveiled a £2 billion clean energy investment plan, with battery storage set to play a critical role.
The UK has a handful of similarly-sized batteries, including the 49.99MW Pelham battery commissioned by Statera, and Centrica’s battery storage facility at Roosecote.