Construction begins on UK’s largest storage project


From pv magazine Spain

Spanish solar project developer, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) – part of UAE-based Abdul Latif Jameel Energy – and British developer Harmony Energy have begun work on the largest battery energy storage project in the United Kingdom.

The 99 MW/198 MWh Clay Tye facility is being constructed near the M25 in Essex and will rely on Tesla Megapack lithium-ion batteries.

Clay Tye follows the completion of the joint 34 MW/68 MWh Contego battery energy storage facility near Burgess Hill in West Sussex, which has now come online with a system of 28 Tesla Megapack batteries. That was the second project in the U.K. to use the Tesla Megapack, after the Holes Bay project, also developed by FRV and Harmony Energy, in 2020.

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“The start-up of [the] Contego plant holds enormous significance for FRV, as it brings us closer to our goal of expanding our portfolio of energy storage projects internationally,” FRV CEO David Menéndez said. “It is the second one we have operating in the United Kingdom while we have another one under construction in Australia. In doing so, we are also making a significant contribution to the evolution towards a more sustainable energy model in the country, one of our strategic objectives as a company.”

The facilities will be connected to the UK Power Networks distribution network, which will allow energy storage and increase the flexibility of the U.K. national grid. “UK Power Networks connected the site to a local electricity substation via a new 1.4km underground cable that involved a 70m directional drill to overcome a special engineering challenge,” UK Power Networks said in a statement. “The company’s switchroom was modified to accommodate the new 33,000-volt circuit needed to import and export electricity from the electricity storage site.”

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