UK’s Zenobe Plans £750 Million of Batteries to Boost Wind Power


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(Bloomberg) — UK power-storage company Zenobe Energy Ltd. plans to invest £750 million ($885 million) in a trio of large battery projects in Scotland to help integrate Britain’s wind power resources into the power grid. 

The UK expects to more than triple its fleet of offshore wind farms this decade as it cuts carbon emissions and natural gas demand. While Scotland has some of the nation’s best wind potential, the electric grid is overloaded and clean power is often wasted rather than going to population centers in southern England. 

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Zenobe’s three projects, with a total capacity of 1 gigawatt, are expected to be completed from 2024 to 2026 and will each be built at a critical bottleneck in the grid. Once the batteries are up and running, the company will work with National Grid to help integrate more wind energy. 

“It’s a step change in using battery storage at a large scale to enable the UK and elsewhere to take on large amounts of renewable power,” James Basden, Zenobe’s co-founder and director, said in an interview. “It enables us to put more wind power onto the transmission network.”

It’s a solution that will become increasingly important as the UK builds up its wind capacity in the coming years. This autumn has seen wind power records tumble, but also huge amounts of waste as the grid has been unable to transmit all the clean power. Ultimately, the UK plans to spend over £50 billion to upgrade the power networks to incorporate all the new renewable generation.  

“The investment into these three major projects represents a turning point in how major grid scale battery storage can support the grid as fossil fuel generation is phased out,” Julian Leslie, head of networks at National Grid ESO, said in a statement.  


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