• Penso Power

Green light for 150MW UK battery giant

First 100MW phase of Minety project will enter operation later this year with additional 50MW going live in 2021.

Energy storage developer Penso Power has won necessary approvals to install a 150MW battery near Swindon, south-west England, the largest project of its kind in Europe.

The company recently secured land rights, planning permission and a grid connection offer for an additional 50MW expansion for its 100MW Minety project, which started construction preparatory works late last year.

The initial 100MW battery is expected to enter operation this autumn, while the additional 50MW, to be built on adjacent land, will enter operation in 2021.

Penso Power chief executive Richard Thwaites (pictured) said: "Minety is a landmark project for UK battery storage.

“Its sheer size marks it as the most significant battery storage development in Europe so far, dwarfing other battery developments in scale and ambition. It shows that storage will play a more substantial role in the UK energy market as we continue our path towards net zero.”

The whole 150MW project will connect to the distribution network via the SSE/National Grid Minety substation.

Penso Power has inked an offtake agreement with Shell Energy Europe for the original 100MW as well as signing commercial agreements with energy aggregator Limejump to optimise revenues. Limejump will dispatch the battery.

Penso Power is currently in discussions with potential offtakers regarding similar arrangements for the 50MW project extension.

The offtake structure “de-risks the returns for infrastructure investors while accessing deep and liquid markets to enable the deployment of battery storage at a very large scale,” according to the developer.

“Energy storage facilitates a greener electricity system helping balance the intermittency of renewable generation. Our focus on large projects means that we achieve scale benefits on both procurement and deployment costs, while the offtake structure helps us provide superior risk-adjusted returns to our investors," Thwaites added.

Penso Power established a blue-chip consortium for the initial 100MW development, including China Huaneng Group and Chinese sovereign wealth fund CNIC.

G2 Energy is Minety’s principal contractor.

Sungrow is supplying the battery storage system using lithium ion cells from Samsung and CATL.