William Eichler 29 November 2017

Council to build ‘largest’ battery-based electricity storage facilities

Council to build ‘largest’ battery-based electricity storage facilities

A company wholly-owned by Swindon Borough Council has submitted a planning application to build one of the UK’s largest battery-based electricity storage facilities.

The council says the battery storage scheme would deliver balancing services for National Grid and help enable the growing proportion of renewable generation in the UK.

Swindon council also said it would ensure greater flexibility for the energy system in line with the Government’s recent industrial strategy.

The battery itself will have a maximum capacity of up to 50 MW — making it one of the largest standalone batteries to be developed so far in the UK.

They will be housed in containers with a 30-year lifespan for the project as a whole, and offer significant land rental value for Swindon Borough Council for a brownfield site.

The council is also responsible for the UK’s first solar farm to be funded jointly by a borough council and bonds sold directly to members of the public.

The solar farm, managed by a community interest company owned by the council, will help Swindon in its aim to install 200MW of renewable capacity by 2020, enough to meet the equivalent energy requirements of every home in the borough.

‘I am really excited by this battery storage project, which builds on the success of our award-winning community solar farm schemes and shows that Swindon is once again blazing the trail in the clean energy field,’ said Cllr Toby Elliott, the council’s cabinet member for sustainability.

‘It also shows how our inventive use of technology can generate an income for the Council at a time when we are having to close a £30m funding gap over the next two and a half years.’

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