Scottish battery storage site snapped up amid energy sector turmoil

A battery energy storage project in Scotland has been bought by a major infrastructure group.

Battery storage will become an increasingly important part of the UK's energy landscape in the years ahead.

Foresight Group has acquired the 50-megawatt (MW) Blackpark project in Nairn from Hamilton-based storage and renewables group Intelligent Land Investments (ILI) for an undisclosed price.

ILI chief executive Mark Wilson said the sale comes at a time when energy storage projects are increasingly seen as an important part of energy security in the UK.

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“As we see the effects of over reliance on gas imports to the UK energy market, energy storage projects like these will become more vital to creating a stable energy market whilst ensuring we can hit our climate change targets,” he said.

Foresight Group senior investment manager Toby Virno said: “Foresight has continued its momentum in the energy storage space through the acquisition of the Blackpark battery storage project.

“This marks the third grid-scale acquisition for Foresight over the past seven months. We recognise the critical role energy storage projects play in the decarbonisation of the electricity grid and are actively reviewing additional opportunities.”

Figures from industry body RenewableUK earlier this year highlighted the growth underway in the battery storage market.

It said there were now 16.1 gigawatts (GW) of capacity operating, under construction or being planned in the UK across 729 projects.

That compared to a total pipeline of 10.5GW across 600 energy storage projects at the same time last year. A 50MW battery can fully charge 2,000 electric vehicles.

Zenobe Energy is currently developing Scotland’s first transmission-connected battery storage project.

The 50MW project in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire will help ease grid constraints, stabilise the system and enable greater renewables growth.

Over the following 15 years, the project is forecast to remove 450,000 tonnes of CO2 - equivalent to taking 18,000 diesel and petrol cars off the road.

The firm is one of the largest independent owners and operators of battery storage with some 170MW of contracted storage assets, around 20 per cent market share of the electric bus sector, its own proprietary software and a large portfolio of projects in the pipeline.

Zenobe is already working with transport operator McGill's to help three Scottish bus depots go electric. The tie-up will see the bus facilities in Johnstone, Inchinnan and Dundee being electrified, with capacity for further expansion.

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