RES secures planning approval for 100MW UK battery storage project

A RES battery storage system deployed for a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) project in the US. Image: RES / NREL.

A 99.9MW energy storage project in development in northern England by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) has secured planning permission, with the asset set to be operational in late 2023.

Located in the Selby area in North Yorkshire, the Lakeside Energy Storage Project will be the largest energy storage project in RES’ now 420MW portfolio of energy storage in the UK and Ireland once completed.

The development has consent for 51 energy storage containers and 42 transformers, with construction expected to start in late 2022.

The utility-grade batteries will store electricity from the grid at times of low demand and high renewables, and export back to the grid at times of high demand and low renewables.

Alan McMahon, head of energy storage at RES, said: “At RES we’re committed to ensuring that everyone has access to affordable zero carbon energy and energy storage is a tremendous way to use more renewable power more often."

Plans are also in place to ensure the area in North Yorkshire benefits from the development, including a biodiversity project set to exceed the government’s desired 10% biodiversity net gain requirement. A total of 3.10 hectares of land is proposed for a number of varying types of habitat creation. Additionally, scrub habitats are to be created elsewhere on the site to provide landscape screening, neutral grassland and sustainable urban drainage features.

UK-headquartered renewable energy developer RES is active in 10 countries, having delivered more than 18GW of renewables worldwide, operating around 6GW of assets on behalf of clients. It was also an early mover in the US market for battery storage, commissioning its first project in Ohio in 2014, a 4MW lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) playing into the PJM Interconnection frequency regulation market.

A leaderboard published at the beginning of this year by analysis and research group Guidehouse Insights of the top global system integrators in the utility-scale front-of-the-meter energy storage space placed RES third in its top 10, after Fluence and then Tesla. Guidehouse predicted that the overall market segment will be worth US$188 billion by 2029.

The development securing planning permission comes after RES announced 14 May that it had sold an 80MW UK battery storage project to investment fund Gore Street Energy Storage Fund, with this asset also scheduled to become operational in 2023, although in this case Q1. This followed RES selling a 54MW portfolio of co-located solar and storage assets in Co. Wexford, Ireland to investor and asset manager NTR in February. That 54MW portfolio consists of two battery storage projects with a combined capacity of 25MW along with 29MW of solar PV, all of which are expected to enter commerical operation in 2022.

This year has also seen RES promise a "solar renaissance", unveiling a pipeline of 23 bifacial solar projects in the UK and Ireland totaling over 1GW.

This story first appeared on Solar Power Portal.  

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