Work starts on UK’s largest battery energy storage project

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Harmony Energy
Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, and Harmony Energy have announced the launch of the UK’s largest battery storage development project in our mission to contribute to the decarbonisation of the British energy grid.

Work has started immediately at the 99MW / 198MWh Clay Tye site near the M25 in Essex, which is the biggest project of its kind under construction in the UK in terms of energy capacity. It will use a system of Tesla Megapack lithium-ion batteries, together with Tesla’s Autobidder AI software for real-time trading and control.

Clay Tye follows the successful completion of FRV and Harmony Energy’s joint 34 MW / 68 MWh Contego battery energy storage facility near Burgess Hill in West Sussex, which has now gone live with a system of 28 Tesla Megapack batteries and Tesla’s Autobidder software.

Contego is the second joint project in the UK to use Tesla Megapacks, following the Holes Bay project which was also developed by FRV, a leading global developer of renewable energy projects, and Harmony Energy in 2020. See a time lapse video of construction below.

Both sites will be connected to the UK Power Networks distribution network, providing the capability to store energy and increase flexibility of the UK National Grid as part of the country’s continuing shift away from fossil fuels.

The completion of Contego and progress at Clay Tye, which are amongst the most advanced and innovative energy storage systems in the country, represent a major step forward in the strategic global energy storage focus from FRV, delivering on its ambition to expand the portfolio of projects of this type worldwide. Today, FRV-X, the technology platform of FRV which creates innovative solutions along the New Energy Value chain, has a pipeline of around 1GWh of battery storage projects in different phases of development worldwide, including 83MWh already under operation.

For Yorkshire-based Harmony Energy, Contego and Clay Tye represent the latest projects in a strong pipeline of battery energy storage facilities. The company has around 1.2GWh of battery projects construction ready in the UK.

Peter Kavanagh, CEO of Harmony Energy, said: “The completion of the Contego site is a significant milestone in the continued deployment of battery energy storage in the UK, representing our largest development to date and a significant contribution to the network. But we’re not stopping there – Clay Tye will be almost three times the size and the largest site of its kind under construction in the UK.

“It’s widely recognised that battery storage is critical to achieving Net Zero in the UK and projects of this size – delivered without subsidies – will be vital in providing flexibility to the grid.”

Fady Jameel, Deputy President and Vice Chairman, Abdul Latif Jameel remarked: “We are excited to expand our presence in the UK through Abdul Latif Jameel Energy’s FRV and are committed to the development and deployment of the UK’s strategic sustainable energy programme. We will continue to advance the global sustainability agenda while reaching FRV’s objective of doubling its capacity to 4GW by 2024. The Clay Tye and Contego projects are a promising milestone for future developments in the country.”

David Menéndez, head of FRV-X, said: “The start-up of Contego plant and the progress in the construction of the Clay Tye holds enormous significance for FRV, as it brings us closer to our goal of expanding our portfolio of energy storage projects internationally. They both represent our second and third operating plants in the United Kingdom, while we have another one under construction in Australia. In doing so, we are also making a significant contribution to the evolution towards a more sustainable energy model in the country, one of our strategic objectives as a company.”

Saadat Hussain, connections project manager at UK Power Networks, added: “The next decade is set to be a transformative time for the electricity sector as we progress towards achieving Net Zero as a country. We look forward to playing a key role in connecting more renewable energy and electricity storage sites like these to our electricity networks.

“The electrical infrastructure work to provide a new 34MW power connection to the battery plant is now complete and the Contego site can start playing an important role in enabling the low carbon transition.”

With the entry into operation of the Contego battery energy storage project, FRV, Harmony Energy and Tesla Megapack are contributing to the decarbonisation of the UK energy grid in what is one of the most innovative initiatives of its kind in the country. In doing so, FRV takes a big step towards its goal of achieving an increasingly sustainable energy system on an international scale.

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