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SSE Renewables’ first battery storage project at Salisbury now fully operational

12 Apr 2024

SSE’s first battery energy storage system (BESS) project at Salisbury in Wiltshire, England is now fully operational.

The 50MW / 100MWh BESS project, which could power over 80,000 homes* for two hours at times of peak demand, is the first operational battery site in SSE’s portfolio.

The asset is now trading in Great Britain’s wholesale energy market following the completion last week of final energisation tests at the site. Battery storage plays a key role in unlocking the path to net zero because of its ability to hold and release energy when most needed.

The Member of Parliament for Salisbury, John Glen MP who also serves as Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office, officially marked the asset reaching this major milestone at a ceremony held today.

Construction of the 26-battery unit project began on a site next to the old Quidhampton Quarry at Salisbury in 2022 in conjunction with project partners, technology group Wärtsilä.

Now operational, the BESS asset is capable of storing up to 100MWh of energy for flexible dispatch when needed to the National Grid. When called upon, the system can operate for up to two hours at a time at times of peak demand.

"I am delighted to formally open Salisbury’s battery storage site. SSE Renewables have installed 26 batteries on this site and they are now fully operational.

This welcome investment means supply of energy from renewable sources is reliable. Salisbury is leading the way as we continue our journey to net zero."

John Glen MP Cabinet Minister and Paymaster General

Salisbury BESS is now SSE Renewables’ flagship operational battery site and will make an important contribution to the delivery of SSE plc’s Net Zero Acceleration Programme, a fully funded five-year investment plan which will see SSE Renewables investing over £7bn to 2027, or almost £4m a day on average, to deliver the low carbon infrastructure that will support the transition to net zero, including new battery storage technology.

In addition to Salisbury, SSE Renewables is currently constructing a 150MW battery project in Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire, which is due to complete in the first half of next year, and a 320MW battery project in Monk Fryston, North Yorkshire, which will be able to deliver flexible energy at scale once completed in up to two years’ time.

"It’s with great pride that our first battery storage project at Salisbury is now fully operational, a huge milestone for everybody at SSE Renewables.

Being a first-of-a-kind project for SSE, the project team has done a tremendous job throughout construction, and I’d like to congratulate everybody involved for their efforts to get to this stage, and I’d like to thank our project partners, Wärtsilä, for their work.

Salisbury BESS will be a fantastic asset for SSE Renewables and our growing operational portfolio."

Richard Cave-Bigley Director of Development and Construction – Solar & Battery

Battery storage technology is recognised as being a net zero enabler. Batteries work by storing energy when output from natural sources such as wind is high and releasing it when wind output is low but demand for energy is high. They are fast responding and will play an increasingly important role in our energy mix as more carbon-based generation is phased out and further replaced by more renewables

* 81,093 homes powered for 2 hours, based on an 50MW (100MWh) battery against assumed daytime hourly use of 0.62 kWh (Typical Domestic Consumption Values, Medium Electricity Profile Class 1, 2,700kWh per household, OFGEM).