Circester Solar Farm becomes the fifth UK co-located renewable energy and battery site to be optimised by Statfraft. Image: Warrington Borough Council
Statkraft has signed a second hybrid power purchase and battery optimisation agreement with Warrington Borough Council.
The agreement will see the Council-owned Cirencester Solar Farm optimised by energy giant Statkraft and thus becomes the fifth co-located renewable energy and battery site in the UK to have been optimised by the firm.
The solar farm incorporates both solar and battery energy storage technology to fully optimise the project and increase the renewable generation output of the project. It has a 23MWp solar farm with an accompanying 10MW battery storage facility. It is also recognised as the first large-scale DC-coupled solar and storage facility in the UK, Statkraft said.
“Having worked with Warrington Borough Council on optimising their first hybrid solar and battery site in York, we are delighted to be further expanding our relationship and managing this technically advanced project,” said Nick Heyward, Statkraft’s head of UK Energy Storage and Markets.
“The DC-coupled nature of the site required us to adopt a different optimisation approach and involves expanding further the technical capabilities of UNITY, our trading optimisation platform, to deal with such co-located sites. As grid-connection capacity becomes challenging to secure across the UK, we’re expecting to see the deployment of more co-located storage and renewables which need similar advanced optimisation approaches.”
Co-located battery energy storage is seen as a perfect complement for renewable generation sources such as both solar and wind. Due to the intermittency of these generation sources, battery is able to capture green energy when there is high generation and store it for when there is low generation.
As a result, battery energy storage is able contain this renewable energy for when there is a peak in demand on the grid, thus providing a flexibility option.
“We are pleased to be expanding our relationship with Statkraft. As with our solar farm in York, we’re confident that our partnership will help ensure our Cirencester Solar Farm generates the best possible environmental returns,” said Councillor Janet Henshaw, Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member for Sustainability and Climate Change.
In February, the Norwegian energy giant submitted a planning application for the 49.9MW Soay Solar Farm in Yorkshire, while in 2021 it announced three new utility-scale solar energy farms in the UK with a total combined capacity of 125.5MWp.
Statkraft entered the UK solar developer market for the first time in June 2020, through a Joint Development Agreement with solar developer UK Power Associates.
Statkraft has additionally targeted having 600MW of renewable projects in the UK by 2025.