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Planning approval, grid connection date review for Recurrent Energy’s jointly developed 400MWh BESS in Cumbria, UK

By Cameron Murray
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A line drawing of the planned 400MWh BESS facility in Cumberland, UK, outlining positioning of containerised battery units and substation infrastructure.
A proposed site layout of the BESS project, showing the BESS containers on the right, connecting to the substation on the left. Image: Recurrent Energy / Windel Energy.

Cumberland Council in England, UK, has granted planning permission for a 200MW/400MWh BESS project from developers Recurrent Energy and Windel Energy which, unless a new grid connection date is agreed, won’t start construction until 2029.

The 2-hour duration Harker project is located between the villages of Todhills and West Linton on the outskirts of Carlisle, in the North West of England, and will connect to the Harker National Grid Substation via an underground 400kV cable.

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It is anticipated to start construction in Q4 2029, although transmission system operator (TSO) National Grid is currently reviewing the acceleration of its grid connection, which could mean it comes online sooner, Recurrent said.

The planning application approval follows a period of local consultation, Recurrent Energy said. This included meetings with various key stakeholders, a dedicated project website, extensive landscaping to provide robust visual and noise mitigation, extensive acoustic fencing to limit noise impact, the provision of detailed battery storage FAQs and the implementation of a 23% Biodiversity Net Gain aim.

Recurrent Energy is the project development arm of Canada-headquartered PV module and BESS manufacturer Canadian Solar, and just last week secured a revolving credit facility of £1.1 billion for its global pipeline.

Its BESS arm e-Storage is active in the UK market already, in December signing a deal with international utility and independent power producer (IPP) Engie for two separate 50MW/100MWh projects.

In other UK BESS industry news, this week also saw the first BESS units arrive on-site at a 150MW/300MWh project under construction by SSE Renewables, while last week developer NatPower announced plans for an earlier-stage 1GW BESS project in North East England.

This story first appeared on Solar Power Portal.

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