Project expected to e one of the “largest” in the UK. Image: Exagen.
Exagen has confirmed that it has submitted plans for a 500MW/1GWh battery storage mega-project to Blaby District Council.
Situated in Leicestershire, the Normanton Energy Reserve will be created across 19 acres, have a capacity of 500MW/1GWh and be capable of providing enough power for 80% of the homes in the county.
£350 million will be used to create the project which will directly connect to the transmission network. In doing so it will play a vital role in managing natural fluctuations in intermittent renewable energy and support the scaling of several renewable generation technologies such as wind farms and solar.
The project is expected to be energised and connected to the grid in 2028, Exagen has stated. The developer will look to partner with local businesses on the project, inviting local contractors to get involved.
“We’re committed to transforming energy for good, bringing batteries onto the grid to ensure we can store energy and keep the lights on when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow,” said Mark Rowcroft, development director at Exagen.
“That’s why we’re excited to work with local communities and businesses to ensure the project is not only bringing clean, home-grown energy onto our grid, but that the site is also benefitting the local area.
“Over the next few months, we’ll be announcing a variety of opportunities for individuals and businesses to get involved. We look forward to hearing from those in Thurlaston, Earl Shilton and the surrounding area about how we can make this site best work for them long-term.”
The project is supporting the local area and communities in several different ways. For instance, 45% of the 19 acre site is set to improve the biodiversity in the area. Exagen has confirmed this will include and extension of the Normanton Millennium Wood via a new permissive path open to the public in addition to wildflower meadows. This will enable beekeeping, new hedgerow and tree planting.
The project will deliver a more than 44% net gain for biodiversity habitat units, compared with the existing baseline habitats.
Alongside the biodiversity boost, Exagen has also emphasised its intention to support the local community via a community fund. The fund is expected to supply capital for a number of improvements including sponsoring education courses for renewable skills.
The local communities are also to be consulted to allow citizens to have a say on the project, its plans and how the community fund should be used.
In August 2022, Octopus Energy allocated up to £35 million for Exagen to develop, own and operate over 5GW of generation and energy storage capacity over the next 10 years in addition to the Normanton Energy Reserve project.
Exagen stated it would rapidly expand its renewable portfolio which has a current pipeline of over 2GW in utility scale generation and storage projects. This will be enhanced and developed in the coming years to reach 5GW before it plans to expand internationally and support the global energy transition.