The technology group Wärtsilä will partner with low carbon energy company SSE to deliver a 50MW energy storage system in Salisbury, Wiltshire. The battery will be the first connected directly to the transmission network by SSE’s new solar and battery division. It will support access to clean, reliable energy by balancing the intermittency of renewables and is vital as we transition to electric vehicles (EVs).
SSE Plc is investing £7 million a day into low carbon infrastructure as part of its £25 billion Net Zero Acceleration Programme (NZAP) until 2030. The battery will be the first of SSE Energy Solutions’ grid-scale solar and battery projects to support access to clean, reliable energy by balancing the intermittency of renewables.
The partnership marks an important step in the UK’s path towards net zero. Not only is it the first grid-scale battery project developed by SSE, but it will also help the UK to scale up energy storage to meet its ambitious renewable energy targets.
The energy storage system will support the UK’s national grid with reliable services such as wholesale market trading, crucial for balancing renewable energy generation throughout the day. The new system is expected to become operational in September 2023.
The UK’s energy storage pipeline has doubled within the past year, demonstrating the growing importance of energy flexibility as the UK scales up its renewable capacity. By supporting SSE to scale up its significant ambition in energy storage systems, Wärtsilä is enabling more British energy consumers to access secure renewable energy, reducing costs while lowering carbon emissions.
Helping to reduce electricity costs is a vital component in helping people transition to electric cars, especially when charging from home. Recently, smart charger provider Ohme announced that it’s possible to run an electric vehicle (EV) for just £11 per month which, given rising fuel costs, makes driving an electric car far more economical.
Richard Cave-Bigley, SSE director of Solar and Battery, said: “Today is a key milestone for SSE as we build out our first battery storage project at Salisbury, but it is also just the beginning of a multi-GW pipeline of solar and battery projects to come.
“Battery storage has a key role to play in helping the UK to decarbonise by ensuring we make the most of the increasing levels of renewable energy coming onto the Grid.
“SSE is investing £24 billion over this decade (circa £7m a day) in low carbon infrastructure of this kind and we are delighted to be working alongside Wärtsilä to provide the balancing and flexibility services we need to help the UK get to net zero.”
Wärtsilä is currently installing similar-sized energy storage systems across the UK, demonstrating their commitment to supporting more renewable energy and helping the UK reach its net zero targets. Energy storage capacity will need to dramatically rise to 18GW by 2035 to manage the transition, according to modelling from Wärtsilä.
Kenneth Engblom, Wärtsilä Energy vice president of Europe and Africa, said: “The UK can capitalise on its massive potential for renewable energy by building more of it right now, but energy storage must not be overlooked – effectively balancing the intermittency of renewables is the missing part of the net zero puzzle.
“If properly deployed, energy storage will enable the grid to deal with fluctuations in renewable energy supply and ensure that the end-users of energy have secured power supply as we switch to cheaper, cleaner energy.
“This project is a big moment for us as we help one of the UK’s largest energy players scale up renewable energy and provide more British consumers with reliable, low-cost, and clean energy.”