Quinbrook acquires BESS development rights for 230MW/460MWh Uskmouth site

The new battery energy storage system will utilise the previous Uskmouth coal-fired power plant’s transmission connection. Image: Chris Allen (Geograph).

Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners has gained project development rights for its 230MW/460MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) at former Uskmouth coal fired power station.

The Uskmouth power station in Wales closed in 2015, and the new BESS will utilise existing power transmission infrastructure at the site including its 230MW grid connection. The development includes a modification of the grid connection agreement and a planning application to be determined by the local Newport City council.

The project development rights were acquired from Simec Atlantis Energy (SAE) and the BESS is expected to come online towards the end of 2024. Quinbrook has partnered with storage optimiser Energy Optimisation Solutions (EOS) in the origination and development of the project.

The acquisition follows SAE, EOS and Quinbrook announcing a partnership to develop the Uskmouth site in May.

Quinbrook and EOS are now to jointly undertake the design and development phases of Project Uskmouth with Quinbrook affiliate Private Energy Partners leading equipment procurement, construction and operational management.

Habitat Energy, a battery storage optimiser which was acquired by Quinbrook late last year, will be engaged to optimise the Uskmouth assets when operational.

Quinbrook’s policy is to prioritise the use of local contractors and specialists during construction works and, where possible, the project will utilise the existing railway access for logistical requirements in order to minimise local impacts from construction activities.

Rory Quinlan, co-founder and managing partner of Quinbrook, said: “If the UK power system is to meet its 2030 renewables targets (of 95% decarbonised power generation), battery storage will need to increase significantly to address urgent stability and flexibility requirements.”

“Almost 10% of UK grid capacity is expected to be provided by battery storage by 2030, representing an estimated £20 billion (US$24.5 billion) of new capital investment. Project Uskmouth is a timely example of how specialist energy infrastructure investors like Quinbrook can identify new opportunities of substantial scale and positive impact arising from the energy transition.”

The project’s two-hour duration is indicative of a wider trend in the UK BESS market to move past one-hour systems, driven primarily by a shift to merchant, wholesale energy trading revenues and away from solely providing grid frequency response services.

Recent examples, include TagEnergy and Harmony Energy’s Chapel Farm BESS and Amp Energy’s 400MW/800MWh Scottish Green Battery Complex.

As Britain’s final coal-fired power plants shutter ahead of the 2024 ban, a number of clean energy projects are looking to take advantage of the transmission connections they leave. Two coal power stations in the east midlands – Cottam and West Burton A – are set to be home to solar PV with a combined capacity of over 1GW being developed by Island Green Power for example.

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