Shell teams up with developer Anesco on first utility-scale UK battery

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Existing Anesco UK energy storage project. Image: EelPower.

UK developer and constructor of clean energy projects Anesco and Shell’s New Energies division are to partner on a utility-scale battery storage project in Norfolk, east England.

The battery project, which is expected to have a capacity of 1.25MW/1.25MWh, is to be located adjacent to the Bacton gas terminal site, one of the company’s most significant energy facilities in the UK.

Anesco is to provide design, procurement, installation, commissioning and maintenance of the utility-scale system. While a specific timeframe has not been disclosed, our UK sister site Solar Power Portal understands it is expected that the project will be launched this summer. Anesco has been among the earliest adopters of energy storage by UK developers of clean energy projects, including the retrofit of 12MWh of energy storage at 10 existing solar farms during 2017. The company was also behind Clayhill, an unsubsidised large-scale solar farm in Britain, with batteries central to the business case Anesco built it to deliver. 

Steve Shine, executive chairman at Anesco, said the news was an “exciting new” development for the storage sector. 

“It marks another significant milestone for us at Anesco. We have fully complied with Shell’s high standards of quality and safety and that is a massive compliment to the Anesco team,” he added.

The news follows recent reports that Shell is to double down on its focus on renewables and associated technologies, placing greater significance on its New Energies division which is dedicated to low carbon technologies crucial to the energy transition.

Last year Shell invested in domestic battery storage manufacturer sonnen in a bid to bolster its consumer offering, but the energy giant had yet to make any kind of move into the UK’s utility-scale storage market until today’s partnership. 

But the country’s utility-scale battery storage market is already home to many of the globe’s energy giants. The likes of Vattenfall, EDF and Centrica have all completed large-scale battery projects in recent years and, just last month, Orsted completed a 20MW battery near Liverpool

Earlier this week National Grid, within a wider Capacity Market consultation, outlined its expectation for the UK’s battery storage capacity to swell to as much as 1.7GW by the 2021/2022 winter period.

Anesco was behind Clayhill, a subsidy-free large-scale solar project competed in the UK last year, co-located with battery storage. Image: Anesco.

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