The technology group Wärtsilä will partner with low carbon energy company SSE to deliver a 50 MW / 100 MWh energy storage system in Salisbury, Wiltshire. The battery will be the first connected directly to the transmission network by SSE’s new solar and battery division and will support access to clean, reliable energy by balancing the intermittency of renewables. The order was booked to Wärtsilä’s order intake in April 2022 and the system is expected to become operational in September 2023.
The partnership marks an important step in the UK’s path towards net zero. Not only is it the first grid-scale battery project developed by SSE, but it will also help the UK to scale up energy storage to meet its ambitious renewable energy targets.
The energy storage system will support the UK’s national grid with reliable services such as wholesale market trading, crucial for balancing renewable energy generation throughout the day. The UK’s energy storage pipeline has doubled within the past year, demonstrating the growing importance of energy flexibility as the UK scales up its renewable capacity[i]. By supporting SSE to scale up its significant ambition in energy storage systems, Wärtsilä is enabling more British energy consumers to access secure renewable energy, reducing costs while lowering carbon emissions.
Kenneth Engblom, Vice President of Europe and Africa, Wärtsilä Energy said: “The UK can capitalise on its massive potential for renewable energy by building more of it right now, but energy storage must not be overlooked – effectively balancing the intermittency of renewables is the missing part of the net zero puzzle. If properly deployed, energy storage will enable the grid to deal with fluctuations in renewable energy supply and ensure that the end users of energy have secured power supply as we switch to cheaper, cleaner energy. This project is a big moment for us as we help one of the UK’s largest energy players scale up renewable energy and provide more British consumers with reliable, low-cost, and clean energy.”
Richard Cave-Bigley, SSE’s Director of Solar and Battery, said: “Today is a key milestone for SSE as we build out our first battery storage project at Salisbury, but it is also just the beginning of a multi-GW pipeline of solar and battery projects to come.
“Battery storage has a key role to play in helping the UK to decarbonise by ensuring we make the most of the increasing levels of renewable energy coming onto the Grid. SSE is investing £24bn over this decade (circa £7m a day) in low carbon infrastructure of this kind and we are delighted to be working alongside Wärtsilä to provide the balancing and flexibility services we need to help the UK get to net zero.”
Wärtsilä is currently installing similar sized energy storage systems across the UK, demonstrating their commitment to supporting more renewable energy and helping the UK reach its net zero targets. Energy storage capacity will need to dramatically rise to 18 GW by 2035 to manage the transition, according to modelling from Wärtsilä[ii].
The project will include Wärtsilä’s GridSolv Quantum, a fully integrated, modular and compact energy storage system, as well as the GEMS Digital Energy Platform, Wärtsilä’s sophisticated energy management software.