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Giant battery at UK’s largest onshore wind farm is a ‘significant step’

ScottishPower plans to install a purpose built battery to store some of the power generated by turbines at the Whitelee wind farm.

ScottishPower is to install a super-sized battery at its Whitelee windfarm (Chris James/ScottishPower/PA)
ScottishPower is to install a super-sized battery at its Whitelee windfarm (Chris James/ScottishPower/PA)

A giant battery is to be installed at the UK’s largest onshore wind farm in what has been hailed as “significant step forward” for greener electricity.

Bosses at ScottishPower have been given the go ahead to install a purpose built battery at its Whitelee wind farm, near Glasgow

Its storage site will be half the size of a football pitch, with 50 megawatts of lithium-ion battery technology to be used.

This will store energy generated from the site’s 215 wind turbines, and will help maintain a supply of green electricity even when the wind is not blowing.

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 ScottishPower chief executive Keith Anderson

At its peak, the wind farm can generate 539 megawatts of electricity, enough to power just under 300,000 homes – or all the households in Glasgow.

South Lanarkshire Council granted planning permission for the project in May, with that decision now being backed by the Scottish Government.

Keith Anderson, ScottishPower chief executive, said: “This is a significant step forward on 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.”

He continued: “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.”

The battery facility will be constructed on vacant land within the Ardochrig substation compound, which is on the eastern edge of the existing wind farm site.

By siting it there, ScottishPower believes it will make it straightforward to connect the battery to the National Grid.

Installation work is expected to start early next year with the facility due to be up and running by the end of 2020.

PA

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