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Scottish Power to build battery storage complex to improve wind energy supply

11 June 2019

The Scottish Government has approved ScottishPower plans for the UK’s largest windfarm at Whitelee, south of Glasgow, to have its own battery storage centre on site, in what will be one of the biggest such projects in the UK. It will have 50MW of lithium-ion battery capacity to store excess power from the windfarm's 215 turbines and provide it to the National Grid when required, enhancing control and flexibility. 

Whitelee windfarm - Image: ScottishPower
Whitelee windfarm - Image: ScottishPower

Keith Anderson, ScottishPower Chief Executive, said: “This is a significant step forward in the road to baseload for renewable energy.

“We know that renewable energy generation needs to quadruple and we know that onshore wind is the cheapest form of green energy.

“By integrating storage technologies with onshore wind, we are blowing away one of the myths about renewable generation not being available when you need it.  Natural resources like wind and solar are variable in their very nature, and by using a battery we can ensure we optimise our ability to use the resource most effectively. This is another step forward by ScottishPower in investing clean, green and flexible generation to fully displace historic fossil fuel generation.

“If we are to meet the bold target of net zero by 2050 and deliver the decarbonisation of our economy, transport and heating systems, large battery storage facilities such as this along with more windfarms like Whitelee are crucial.”

The battery facility will be constructed on vacant land within the Ardochrig substation compound which lies to the eastern edge of the existing windfarm site, allowing for a straightforward connection to the grid, thereby optimising the existing infrastructure arrangements.

Installation work is expected to start early next year with the facility fully operational by the end of 2020.

ScottishPower operates Whitelee along with almost 40 windfarms around the UK, and has plans to put similar arrangements in place at many of its other windfarms, with potential for batteries to go onto solar and future wind sites too.

Whitelee Windfarm is the UK's largest onshore windfarm, located on Eaglesham Moor near Glasgow with 215 turbines up to 140m in height. At peak, it can generate 539 megawatts of electricity, enough to power just under 300,000 homes or all the households in Glasgow.

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