ARKANSAS, Dec 22 (Future Headlines)- Pacific Green, a leading developer in the renewable energy sector, has successfully brought online a significant 100MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project located at the National Grid substation in Kent. This project, known as the Richborough Energy Park battery, marks a notable advancement in the deployment of large-scale battery storage infrastructure in the United Kingdom.

The 100MW/100MWh BESS project, developed by Pacific Green, has been seamlessly integrated into the National Grid’s 400kV Richborough substation. Notably, this project stands out as it connects directly to the high-voltage network operated by the National Grid, as opposed to the more common practice of connecting to the lower-voltage networks managed by distribution network operators (DNOs). The decision to link to the National Grid’s high-voltage network provides several advantages, including a more reliable connection and enhanced visibility within National Grid control rooms.

The project was aptly situated on a brownfield site that once housed a coal-fired power station. Utilizing such sites with a legacy of traditional power generation facilities allows developers to leverage existing grid connection capacity, facilitating a smoother integration process. This approach aligns with the broader trend of repurposing former power plant locations for renewable energy projects, optimizing land use and existing infrastructure.

The ownership of the Richborough Energy Park battery underwent a strategic transition, underscoring the dynamic nature of the renewable energy sector. Asset manager Sosteneo Infrastructure Partners acquired the 100MW BESS project from Pacific Green in July 2023. This shift in ownership highlights the active market for energy storage assets and the role of infrastructure-focused entities in driving the development and operation of such projects.

Connecting a BESS project directly to the National Grid’s high-voltage network comes with notable advantages. The more robust connection provides increased reliability, critical for a project of this scale, and enhances the project’s visibility and control within the National Grid’s operations. This strategic decision by Pacific Green and its subsequent ownership by Sosteneo Infrastructure Partners align with the industry trend of pursuing transmission-connected BESS projects.

The selection of a brownfield site for the Richborough Energy Park battery project showcases the industry’s commitment to sustainable and efficient land use. Brownfield sites, particularly those with a history of conventional power generation, offer unique advantages for renewable energy projects. By repurposing these locations, developers can leverage existing grid connection infrastructure and minimize the environmental impact associated with land development.

The successful commissioning of the 100MW BESS project in Kent represents a significant milestone in the UK’s energy storage landscape. Large-scale battery projects integrated into the National Grid’s high-voltage network contribute to the overall resilience and efficiency of the electricity grid. As the demand for energy storage solutions continues to grow, such projects play a crucial role in supporting grid stability, managing fluctuations in renewable energy generation, and enhancing the overall reliability of the power system.

The achievement of the 100MW BESS project by Pacific Green in collaboration with Sosteneo Infrastructure Partners reinforces the importance of energy storage infrastructure in the evolving energy landscape. The industry’s advancements and strategic collaborations will be further discussed and explored at the upcoming 9th annual Energy Storage Summit EU, hosted by Solar Media. The event, scheduled for February 20-21, 2024, in London, will bring together key stakeholders, including investors, policymakers, developers, utilities, and service providers, fostering dialogue and collaboration in shaping the future of energy storage in Europe.

Editing by Sarah White