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World's Largest Battery Energy Storage Scheme Gets Planning Permission

Local authorities in the Greater Manchester area in the UK have issued planning permission to UK energy infrastructure development company Carlton Power to build what would be the world’s largest battery energy storage scheme, which will cost $963 million (£750 million).

Carlton Power plans to build and operate a 1GW (1040MW / 2080MWh) project located at the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park in Greater Manchester, the company said on Monday announcing it had obtained the planning permission from Trafford Council, the local planning authority.

Subject to a final investment decision (FID), construction of the battery storage scheme is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024 and enter commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2025.

Carlton Power is in advanced talks with companies to finance, build, and operate the Trafford battery energy storage scheme (BESS).

The battery energy storage scheme is Carlton Power’s second major energy project that has been consented for the around 12-hectare Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park, eight miles south of Manchester. The other project is a 200-MW Trafford Green Hydrogen scheme, whose first phase (15-20 MW) is also set to enter commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2025.

The green hydrogen project was approved by Trafford Council in September 2022, making it the UK’s largest consented green hydrogen scheme. Carlton Power also recently secured planning permission for one of the UK’s first hydrogen pipelines at the Trafford site.  

The UK bets big on hydrogen, energy storage, and a surge in offshore wind power installations to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and reach net zero by 2050.

However, renewable projects face hurdles connecting to the grid under current regulations, while battery storage needs to jump in order to ensure energy supply when the weather is not favorable for solar or wind power generation.

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More than 1,000 wind and solar projects with planning permission in the UK cannot begin construction due to challenges to connect to the national grid, the Local Government Association (LGA) warned earlier this month.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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