Ørsted, one of the dominating companies in the European wind industry, has announced plans to enter the commercial battery storage market with its first large-scale project near Liverpool.
The Danish energy giant said today it will build and operate a 20MW battery in England’s North West, which will provide balancing services to National Grid. The Carnegie Road project is expected to be up and running by the end of the year.
The firm – formerly DONG Energy – has in the past experimented with adding battery storage to its offshore wind projects, but the Carnegie Road venture represents its first foray into the commercial battery storage market.
In a statement on the Carnegie Road announcement today, UK managing director Matthew Wright confirmed Ørsted’s plans to be a leader in that transition.
“The future energy system will be completely transformed from what it is today, with a smarter, more flexible grid, balancing supply and demand with new technology and cleaner energy generation,” he said. “We want to continue to be at the forefront of this exciting shift towards a decarbonised energy system.”
“Acquiring the Carnegie Road plant is an important step forward as it’s our first commercial-scale battery storage project,” he added. “We’re investing billions of pounds in the UK’s energy infrastructure and this is another significant investment that puts the UK at the heart of the global energy transition.”
Ryan O’Keefe, the boss of Ørsted’s solar and storage business, added: “The demand for these services is likely to grow in the UK as the country is expected to decommission large parts of its carbon-based generation fleet and introduce more renewables generation.”
Ørsted snapped up the Carnegie Road site from Shaw Energi with the planning permission and grid connection already in place. The head-start means Ørsted’s project will be able to help power the grid from this winter, at the same time as a 49MW facility under construction by British Gas parent company Centrica.ss
Ørsted is also expanding its battery ambitions around the world.
Earlier this year it built a 1MW pilot storage project in Taiwan, and if plans for the 2GW Bay State Wind offshore wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts go ahead, a 55MW storage unit will be added to the facility.
Drax Group, the owner of Britain’s largest single power plant, is also planning to add battery storage to its coal and biomass generation. The generator has applied for permission to build up to 200MW worth of storage on its site together with 3.2GW of new gas-fired power, but has not made a final investment decision yet.