UK Roundup: 100MWh Wärtsilä project, US$93 million financing for Field, Westbridge gets grid connection

By Molly Lempriere
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News in brief, from another busy week for our colleagues reporting on the UK battery storage market.

Wärtsilä deploying 100MWh transmission-connected BESS

Wärtsilä is to provide a 50MW/100MWh energy storage system for SSE’s first grid-scale battery project in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

It will be the first such site to be directly connected to the transmission network by major UK-headquartered energy supplier SSE’s new solar and battery division. The battery order was booked in April 2022, and the system is expected to be operational by September 2023.

Wärtsilä’s GridSolv Quantum, a fully integrated, modular and compact energy storage system, will be used for the site, as well as its energy management software GEMS Digital Energy Platform. The asset will provide grid balancing services such as wholesale energy trading.

The Salisbury site development follows SSE acquiring the development rights for the 50MW battery storage asset from Harmony Energy in August 2021. Additionally the company acquired its first solar farm in January 2022, taking on the development rights for a 30MW solar farm at Littleton Pastures from Stark Energy.

Wärtsilä meanwhile is installing a number of similarly sized battery energy storage systems around the UK, including working on the 50MW/50MWh Kemsley battery with EDF and Pivot Power which went live at the end of last year.

Read the full version of this story on Solar Power Portal, where it was first published.

Bulb co-founder’s battery storage company secures US$93.5 million financing

Battery energy storage company Field has secured £77 million (US$93.45 million) in funding as it looks to continue the rapid expansion of its portfolio.

This is made up of £30 million of equity funding from early-stage investor Plural, which itself was launched this week. The remaining £47 million comes as a debt facility secured from Triple Point Energy Investment Company (TEEC).

Additional participation in the fundraising came from Local Globe, which has an investment portfolio including Wise, Zoopla, M-Kopa, InFarm and Citymapper.

As part of the new funding, Field and TEEC have agreed to work on a further pipeline of over 400MWh of battery storage projects. This builds on TEEC’s £45.6 million investment into Field in April 2022, which saw the companies announce plans to construct a 110MW portfolio of storage assets.

The £77 million funding will allow Field to rapidly build battery sites across the UK, targeting 1.3GWh of operational assets across by 2024. As of April 2022, its total pipeline was 775MW/1,510MWh following a slew of acquisitions.

Since the company was launched in early 2021 by Amit Gudka – one of the founders of energy suppliers Bulb – it has acquired 110MW of storage capacity.

The company will use its own proprietary platform to manage all the battery assets, trading energy into a number of markets.

To read the full version of this story visit Solar Power Portal.

Westbridge secures grid connection for battery project adjacent to existing solar PV plant

Westbridge Energy UK has secured a grid connection for its Fiskerton 53MVA battery energy storage system from Western Power Distribution (WPD).

Located at a former Royal Air Force (RAF) airfield in Lincoln, in England’s East Midlands region, the BESS is to be strategically placed beside an existing solar farm that was previously developed by the Westbridge team.

Westbridge is now in the process of securing a long-term lease for the site land and is preparing a planning application. 

“The BESS will supply power and other services to the UK grid in a matter of milliseconds, once developed,” said Alex Dickinson, special advisor of enabling technologies at Westbridge Energy UK. 

“Such speed of response is crucial in ensuring a secure and stable energy system in terms of frequency response and dynamic control that is key to the UK transition to a low carbon economy.”

Westbridge Energy UK is the UK subsidiary of Vancouver, Canada-headquartered Westbridge Power Corporation, which has developed 40+ projects worldwide. 

Recently, it announced a 250MWp solar PV plant combined with a 100MW BESS in Alberta, Canada.

It is also developing two other plants in Alberta, these being a 278MWp solar plant and a 236MWp solar PV plant, both of which are being planned with 100MW each of battery storage.

This story first appeared on Solar Power Portal.

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