Europe’s biggest battery energy storage system by capacity has been successfully switched on in East Yorkshire.

Developed by Harmony Energy and using a two-hour Tesla Megapack system, the Pillswood project near Hull has capacity to store up to 196MWh of electricity in a single cycle – enough to power about 300,000 homes for two hours.

The project will provide “critical balancing services” to the grid while also enabling the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy, a Harmony Energy announcement said.

The site is adjacent to National Grid’s Creyke Beck substation, the same connection point proposed for phases A and B of the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank, which will start to go live in summer 2023.

Batteries help National Grid maximise efficiency by reducing the amount of time a wind farm needs to be switched off due to supply/demand imbalances or network constraints.

Construction of the Pillswood project was managed by Tesla. It was originally intended to start operating over two phases in December 2022 and March 2023, but the timetable was accelerated to enable both phases to energise this month, to support National Grid efforts to provide stable and secure power to UK households over the winter period.

The project will be operated through Autobidder, Tesla’s algorithmic trading platform.

“The completion and energisation of the Pillswood scheme, the largest of its kind in Europe by energy capacity, is a significant milestone for Harmony Energy Income Trust, being the first of six similar projects the trust intends to deliver in the coming year,” said Peter Kavanagh, Harmony Energy director.

“It is also a significant achievement for Harmony Energy Limited – this project is the third, and largest, battery energy storage project which we have developed and subsequently delivered through construction.

“All stakeholders have recognised the importance of achieving energisation for this project ahead of winter, and we would like to thank Tesla, G2 Energy and Northern Powergrid for their efforts in delivering the project ahead of schedule despite a very challenging geopolitical and global supply chain environment.”

He added: “Battery energy storage systems are essential to unlocking the full potential of renewable energy in the UK, and we hope this particular one highlights Yorkshire as a leader in green energy solutions.

“These projects are not supported by taxpayer subsidy and will play a major role in contributing to the Net Zero transition, as well as ensuring the future security of the UK’s energy supply and reduced reliance on foreign gas imports.”

Extracted from IMechE website, read more here

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