Sembcorp Energy UK (SEUK) has announced plans to build Europe’s largest battery in Teeside to boost its portfolio and strengthen the UK’s renewable infrastructure as the country pushes to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The group intends to construct the battery as part of a 360MW energy storage system at its Wilton International site.
Battery units can supply power and other services to the national grid in a matter of milliseconds, with rapid response time crucial to maintaining a secure and stable energy system that will support the UK’s low-carbon transition.
The plans also enhance SEUK’s green technology agenda, with the new battery following July’s announcement to construct Whitetail Clean Energy, a first-of-a-kind 300MW net zero emission plant.
Should both developments proceed, SEUK’s total energy portfolio would be expected to total over 1.6GW, with almost half a gigawatt being supplied by batteries.
SEUK currently operates 70MW of batteries, with a further 50MW already in the pipeline and due to be operational in early 2022.
The latest announcement is latest in a series of good news stories for Teeside, with BP previously unveiling 500MW plans to turn the area into the UK’s green hydrogen hub.
Andy Koss, chief executive of UK & Middle East, Sembcorp Industries, said: “Sembcorp Energy UK is committed to accelerating the energy transition with sustainable solutions, such as batteries. Additionally, the location of 360MW of batteries at Wilton International strengthens Teesside’s green regeneration and position as a hub of low-carbon innovation in the North East.”
Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor added: “Since the Industrial Revolution the ingenuity of Teessiders has spearheaded the development of new technologies. With this announcement, which will see the creation of Europe’s largest battery on the Wilton site, the message is clear: if you want to pioneer low-carbon innovation then come to Teesside.”
Green energy has become an increasingly urgent area of expansion for the UK amid an embroiling gas price crisis – which has resulted in 25 UK energy firms ceasing trading since September.
Reducing the UK’s reliance on flows of fossil fuels could help mitigate future market shocks.