New battery storage system installed at the UK’s largest onshore wind farm

Whitelee Windfarm

The Scottish government approved a project launched by ScottishPowerIberdrola’s subsidiary in the United Kingdom – to implement a battery storage system at Whitelee, the UK’s largest onshore wind farm.

The new installation will store renewable energy generated by the facility’s 215 wind turbines to guarantee energy supply energy when the wind is low.

This site will be about half the size of a football field and will have the capacity of 50 MW lithium-ion batteries, which is the most profitable storage technology for renewable electricity.

The largest battery of its kind

Its planned storage capacity makes it the largest windfarm battery in the UK, capable of achieving full charge in less than an hour.

The battery can be fully discharging or used in bursts as and when required. This will enable to keep the electricity network stable by balancing supply and demand.

The use of the battery will also improve the capacity to store excess energy at times when the demand is low or wind levels are high, like at night. This energy can then be used when the demand is higher and the wind is not blowing.

“This is a significant step in the path toward renewable energy providing the baseload for the grid,” said ScottishPower Executive Director Keith Anderson.

“We know that renewable energy generation needs to quadruple,” he stressed. “We know that onshore wind is the cheapest form of green energy,” he added.

Readily available renewable power

“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. By using a battery we can ensure we optimize our ability to use the resource most effectively.

For his part, Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, highlighted the project’s advantages. “It offers a number of real potential benefits for Scotland’s energy systems.” He assured that the Scottish Government will continue to support innovation and deployment in this area.

Whitelee is the largest wind farm in the United Kingdom, located in Eaglesham Moor, just 20 minutes from Glasgow. Its 2015 turbines have a peak height of 140 meters.

Since its commissioning it has generated enough clean energy to cover nearly 90% of the total electricity consumed annually in Scottish businesses and households.

It created 4,000 jobs during the construction phase and maintains around 600 jobs in the operation and maintenance area.

Favorable winds blowing for Whitelee

“This particular development will maximize the renewable electricity that can be supplied to consumers from the Whitelee Windfarm. It will also help support grid stabilization and overcoming intermittency; play a valuable part in helping to further reduce Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions; help meet Scotland’s renewable electricity targets; and diversify our energy supplies.”

Local planning permission for the battery storage facility was granted by South Lanarkshire Council in May with Scottish Ministers rubber stamping the proposal on Monday 10th June.

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 optimizing the existing infrastructure arrangements.

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

For more information, check Energía16

See also: Francisco Pizarro Project: Iberdrola building Europe’s largest solar PV plant in Extremadura

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