Centrica secures development rights for its largest battery asset

Centrica secures development rights for its largest battery asset

The battery asset will store renewable energy produced by offshore wind farms in the North Sea. Image: Centrica.

Energy company, Centrica Business Solutions, has confirmed it has secured the development rights for a 65MW two-hour battery storage plant – its largest to date.

The battery storage asset, which is to be located in Abernethy, Scotland, will store renewable energy generated by offshore wind farms in the North Sea.

According to Centrica, the battery asset is scheduled to be connected to the grid in 2028 and could discharge energy up to four times a day. This could provide a key balancing mechanism for the UK grid and ensure ample renewable energy is provided throughout periods of peak demand.

The project forms part of the energy company’s ambition to deliver around 1GW of low-carbon energy assets and will join a 30MW battery storage plant in Aberdeenshire, which is scheduled to go live in mid-2024.

“The new battery storage site is our biggest project to date, and demonstrates our long-term commitment to improving the energy independence of the UK,” said Gregory McKenna, managing director at Centrica Business Solutions.

“If the country wants to achieve a reliable, secure and decarbonised power system, then battery storage sites must be the rule rather than the exception. Storing energy at times of surplus to keep the lights on during times of peak demand will be key to delivering on these ambitious targets.

“However, the five-year wait for a connection date shines a light on the challenges renewable energy projects like this continue to face with the grid being totally constrained. To keep the net zero transition on track, it’s important that we work to speed up grid connections and avoid further delays to new and existing projects.”

Centrica has been bolstering its battery energy storage portfolio in a bid to support the energy transition – particularly as solar and wind generation, which are both intermittent energy sources, begin to ramp up in development ahead of impending net zero targets.

In late January 2023, Solar Power Portal reported that the organisation was set to repurpose a former gas-fired power plant in North Yorkshire to include a 28MW battery storage system with the potential to develop off-grid hydrogen production and solar.

The first project at the site will be a 28MW/56MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) which will utilise some of the 41.5MW export capability of the existing grid connection.

More recently, Centrica confirmed it was set to deploy its first BESS outside the UK in the form of a 24MW/54MWh two-hour-plus battery asset in Belgium via Alfen, a Netherlands-based company.

Alfen will provide its ‘TheBattery’ BESS product for the project in Oostende, which is set to come online in the first quarter of 2024. The BESS will participate in Belgium’s capacity market, operated by grid operator Elia, as the country looks to shut down five of its seven nuclear reactors by 2025.

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