Thrive Renewables: construction has started on its first battery storage project in the UK

Thrive Renewables, Bristol, United Kingdom, has confirmed that construction has started on its first battery storage project near Milton Keynes in the UK. The 5MW battery will be able to provide 1.49 hours, or 7.45MWh, of electricity to the national and local electricity grid.

The construction team kicked off initial ground works and site preparation this month. This will be followed by the earthing installation, an essential component for ensuring the safety of electrical equipment, the company says. The next stage will be to dig the trench and lay the cable which will connect Wicken to the electricity grid, ready for the battery to be installed. Once all components are built and installed, project commissioning will ensure everything is operating effectively. Wicken battery will be fully operational and ready to store electricity in August.

“Things are going really well on site and it’s fantastic to see the build stage commencing having watched the project progress from just a desktop study a couple of years ago. As the Project Manager from Eclipse Power I very much look forward to getting the site operational and seeing it through its first few years,”  commented Lisa Clark, Project Manager, Eclipse Power.

Wicken will provide the electricity grid with vital flexibility and balancing services, charging the batteries when clean energy is abundant, and exporting it back to the grid during peak usage times. This will support further deployment of renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar, and the development of a zero-carbon electricity system.

The battery can also provide frequency response services to the National Grid. As electricity is transported across the country from generators to our homes, it must maintain a steady frequency at all times. Traditionally these services have only been provided by fossil fuel generators. But as the UK moves towards net zero, sustainable methods of providing these services, such as battery storage, must be used.

“It’s very exciting to see construction kicking off at Wicken, our first battery project. In just a few short months this battery will be contributing to the clean energy transition and the UK’s journey to net zero. We need a full range of technologies, such as battery storage, wind, solar, geothermal and hydro, if we are to build a zero-carbon electricity system dominated by renewables. I’m proud that Thrive is building projects today, to ensure a cleaner, brighter future”, said Monika Paplaczyk, Investment Director, Thrive Renewables.

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