The firm has also been purchased by Brookfield, a Canadian investment firm. Image: Banks Group.

Banks Renewables to invest £100m in 400MWh BESS in Scotland

The firm has also been purchased by Brookfield, a Canadian investment firm. Image: Banks Group.
The firm has also been purchased by Brookfield, a Canadian investment firm. Image: Banks Group.

Renewable energy business Banks Renewables intends to invest £100 million into a 200MW/400MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) in Scotland.

Plans for the Pond Energy Park feature a 2-hour BESS located near Bathgate, a town situated between Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is hoped that the proposed BESS will be operational by 2031, should it be approved.

The project is expected to have an operational lifespan of 25 years.

An image of the site location and boundary can be found below:

Image: Banks Renewables.
Image: Banks Renewables.

More immediately, Banks Renewables is preparing for the first in-person consultation events, which will occur on 12 October 2023. These will allow members of the community to give their thoughts, help shape the proposals and highlight key local priorities which could be addressed using community benefits.

On the topic of community benefits, Banks is to establish its flagship ‘Connect2Renewables’ initiative to run alongside the project. This local business initiative means that wherever possible, Banks Renewables will prioritise local businesses when contracting for work onsite.

Gordon Thomson, projects director at Banks Renewables said: “The proposed Pond Battery Storage project in West Lothian marks a very exciting time for us here at Banks Renewables.

“Battery storage projects like this are becoming increasingly important in Scotland’s push for net zero. When it’s not sunny or windy, battery energy storage can allow us to dip into the reserves by using pre-generated energy in the batteries to supply to the national grid and reducing our reliance on energy derived from imported fossil fuels.”

Brookfield to acquire Banks Renewables

In other news, Canadian investment firm Brookfield is set to purchase Banks Renewables in a deal worth around $1 billion (£820 million), a figure reported by The Financial Times.

Banks Renewables has secured planning permission for 14 wind farms with seven currently in operation across Scotland. The organisation has also been expanding is solar portfolio. In May 2023, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council approved a 49MW solar farm and 50MW battery storage facility in South Yorkshire.

Commenting on the acquisition, founder and chairman of the Banks Group, Harry Banks, said: “I believe that Brookfield’s established position in the renewables industry and the strong cultural fit that exists between both businesses will lead to this acquisition being to the benefit of all parties involved.

“The greater resources of Brookfield will enable the fuller development of opportunities which Banks Renewables are introducing.  It will be good for Banks Renewables’ employees and their career prospects, and it will be good for Brookfield because they are acquiring a renewables business with a proven track record and a capability to take the business forward.

“This is also good news for other Banks Group businesses and their employees, who will continue to develop our existing businesses in land, property, mining and in developing our new regional housebuilding business, Banks Homes.”

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