Statkraft signs hybrid off-take and flexibility optimization agreement for UK’s largest solar and battery storage project

Warrington Borough Council hybrid solar farm. Copyright: Gridserve

Statkraft, Oslo, Norway, a provider of market access services, has signed a novel hybrid power purchase and optimization agreement with UK-based Warrington Renewables (York) Limited, a company wholly owned by Warrington Borough Council for the electricity generated directly from the 35 MW solar farm which also houses a 27MWh battery storage facility, located in York. The deal demonstrates how collaboration between local authorities and market leaders can work together to deliver low carbon, subsidy free renewable power to a wider customer base.

The hybrid project, ultimately owned by Warrington Borough Council was completed at the end of last year. The York hybrid solar farm has been pitted as the UK’s most technically advanced solar project. It is the first utility-scale solar farm in the UK to use both single-axis trackers and bifacial solar panels (that produce power from both sides of the panel), both of which are used to maximize the output of the solar farm.

Statkraft is owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and has operated in the UK since 2006. Statkraft is a leading pan-European route-to-market-services provider enabling a reliable, renewable and cost-efficient electricity system of the future. The agreement signed today means that Statkraft will procure all the electricity from the project, offering the local authority a route to market for the solar production, in addition to optimising the flexibility of the battery storage to maximize the overall value of the site’s output.

“We are delighted to be working with a pioneering local authority to deliver what we do best”, says Nick Heyward, Head of UK Energy Storage – Markets at Statkraft UK.
“We had to develop a bespoke hybrid PPA solution to manage the various aspects of the site, reflecting the overall innovation that has gone into the site itself. By optimising the energy storage alongside the renewable energy for Warrington Council we hope to set a blueprint to follow, for other local authorities and partners that are committed about delivering net zero as well as benefiting their communities through revenues from renewable energy.”

Statkrafts optimizes the contracted power and flexibility through the use of its virtual ‘Unity’ power platform which aggregates energy from a network of wind and solar power, flexible gas assets and batteries in the UK totalling to more than 2,600 MW installed capacity. “Agreements like this will be vital for balancing the UK’s electricity demand and supply as wind and solar power play bigger roles in powering our lives” adds Mr. Heyward.

The PPA was negotiated and signed remotely by Nick Heyward, Head of UK Energy Storage – Markets Statkraft UK Ltd and Andrew Doyle, Director, Warrington Renewables (York) Ltd, showing sustainability and continuity of business amid the coronavirus pandemic.

About Warrington Renewables (York) Ltd
Warrington Renewables (York) Ltd was acquired by Warrington Borough Council in December 2019, with the intention of further driving its green agenda and contributing to the sustainable supply of green energy to the residents and businesses of Warrington and beyond.

About Statkraft
Statkraft is a leading company in hydropower internationally and Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy. The Group produces hydropower, wind power, solar power, gas-fired power and supplies district heating. Statkraft is a global company in energy market operations. Statkraft has 4,000 employees in 17 countries.

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