British distributed energy developer Conrad Energy recently started construction of a 6MW/12MWh battery energy storage system in Somerset, UK, after canceling the original plan to build a natural gas power plant due to local opposition It is planned that the project will replace the natural gas power plant.
The local mayor and councillors attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the battery energy storage project. The project will feature Tesla Megapack energy storage units and, once deployed in November, will help increase the battery storage portfolio operated by Conrad Energy to 200MW by the end of 2022.
Sarah Warren, Deputy Chair of the Bath and North East Somerset Council and member of the Cabinet for Climate and Sustainable Tourism, MP, said: "We are delighted that Conrad Energy has deployed this important battery storage system and are very excited about the role it will play. The role is appreciated. This project will provide the smarter, more flexible energy we need to help us achieve net zero emissions by 2030.”
The decision to deploy a battery energy storage system comes after the Bath and North East Somerset Council's decision in early 2020 to approve plans to build a gas-fired power plant was met with backlash from local residents. Conrad Energy shelved the plan later that year as the company sought to deploy a greener alternative.
The company's chief development officer, Chris Shears, explains why and how it transitioned to planned technology.
Chris Shears said, "As an experienced and hardworking energy developer operating over 50 energy facilities in the UK, we fully understand the need to design and operate our projects sensitively and in partnership with the local communities where we deploy them. We were able to secure grid-connected import capacity, and through the development of this project, all parties involved agreed that battery energy storage was critical to achieving net zero in the UK and the adoption of appropriate technology in the region. In order for all of us to recover from To benefit from clean energy, we must be able to meet demand during peak demand, while also supporting the stability of the power system. Our battery storage system at Midsomer Norton can provide 14,000 households with electricity for up to two hours, So it will and will be a resilient resource.”
Examples of battery energy storage as an alternative due to local opposition to fossil fuel power generation projects are not limited to small projects. The 100MW/400MWh battery storage system, which came online in California last June, was developed after initial plans for a natural gas peaking plant faced opposition from local residents.
Whether driven by local, national or economic factors, battery energy storage systems are widely chosen as an alternative to fossil fuel projects. According to a recent Australian study, as a peaking power plant, operating a battery energy storage project could be 30% less expensive than a natural gas power plant.