Penso Power, an innovative UK renewable energy and battery storage company and the originator and developer of the Minety battery storage scheme in Wiltshire, has secured land rights, planning permission and a grid connection offer to extend the 100MW project by a further 50MW.
The Minety project, 12 miles northwest of Swindon (Wiltshire) is Europe’s largest battery storage development. Work started onsite in December 2019 and it is expected that Minety will enter operation this autumn (2020). The additional 50MW capacity is to be built on adjacent land, and will enter operation in 2021.
The development of Penso Power’s Minety project has been enabled by commercial agreements with Shell Energy Europe and the energy tech company Limejump, a subsidiary of Shell. Shell has signed a major offtake agreement on the original 100MW project, the largest of its kind globally to date, whilst the batteries will be optimised and dispatched by Limejump.
Penso Power is currently in discussions with potential offtakers regarding similar arrangements for the 50MW project extension. The offtake structure de-risks the returns for infrastructure investors while accessing deep and liquid markets to enable the deployment of battery storage at a very large scale. Scale benefits enable the provision of a range of balancing services on a cost-effective basis.
Penso Power’s CEO Richard Thwaites said: “Minety is a landmark project for UK battery storage. Its sheer size marks it as the most significant battery storage development in Europe so far, dwarfing other battery developments in scale and ambition. It shows that storage will play a more substantial role in the UK energy market as we continue our path towards Net Zero. Energy storage facilitates a greener electricity system helping balance the intermittency of renewable generation. Our focus on large projects means that we achieve scale benefits on both procurement and deployment costs, while the offtake structure helps us provide superior risk-adjusted returns to our investors.”
Penso Power established a blue-chip consortium for the initial 100MW development:
Investment from China Huaneng Group, one of the world’s largest power generators, and CNIC, the Chinese government-backed fund.
G2 Energy, the independent connection provider, is Principal Designer and Principal Contractor.
Sungrow is the integrator providing battery storage systems using Samsung and CATL batteries.
Eclipse Power Networks is the iDNO (the scheme will connect to the distribution network via the SSE / National Grid Minety substation).