north sea wind farm

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UK Plans Giant Battery to Manage Offshore Wind Surge

Bloomberg
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December 14, 2021

By Jessica Shankleman (Bloomberg) —

Sembcorp Industries Ltd. plans to build the U.K.’s biggest battery on the northeast coast of England as the country seeks a more reliable stream of electricity from its growing fleet of wind farms.

The 360-megawatt project will be installed in Teesside, on land already owned by the Singapore-based company, it said Tuesday in a statement. The U.K. has a major cluster of offshore wind farms nearby.

Britain is stepping up large-scale battery installation in an effort to ensure steady supplies regardless of the weather. Record energy prices in recent months have been driven in part by a lack of wind to power the country’s huge fleet of turbines. 

The first phase of the Teesside battery is due to be completed by 2023, a Sembcorp spokeswoman said by phone, adding that the investment required would be in the “hundreds of millions” of pounds.

“Flexible energy sources play an increasingly important role in maintaining secure and reliable energy supplies,” Andy Koss, Sembcorp’s chief executive officer for the U.K. and Middle East, said in the statement. With a growing reliance on renewables, the U.K. energy system must be “able to respond quickly to changes.”

The new storage site is expected to top the largest current planned battery — a 100-megawatt facility by Zenobe Energy Ltd.

Sembcorp said its total U.K. battery pipeline is now almost half a gigawatt. It already operates 70 megawatts and has a further 50 megawatts due to come online in early 2022.

–With assistance from Rachel Morison.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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