SSE Renewables breaks ground at Ferrybridge battery storage project

Breaking ground at the Ferrybridge site - image SSE Renewables

SSE Renewables has celebrated the start of construction at its 150MW/300MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) at Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire.

Delegates from SSE Renewables were joined by principal contractor, OCU Services, and battery supplier Sungrow Power UK at a groundbreaking ceremony. 

The Ferrybridge site once helped power the UK with its coal-fired plant until its decommissioning by SSE in 2016. 

Construction of a battery asset heralds a new era in the site’s energy evolution - bringing the flexibility needed to help the UK get to net zero.

Once complete at the end of 2024, SSE’s flexible battery storage asset will be capable of providing the UK’s national grid with a total 300MWh of flexible capacity as it can operate for two hours at a time.

“We’re breaking new ground with our first battery at an existing SSE site,” said Richard Cave-Bigley, director of solar and battery at SSE Renewables.

“Ferrybridge used to be a coal site; but today we’ve evolved to building a 150MW flexible battery asset that can store the energy we need to help get to net zero.”

Vince Bowler, managing director of OCU Services, said breaking ground was a “fantastic project milestone” for the Ferrybridge site. 

“We’re proud to be involved in this low-carbon technology scheme and look forward to continued collaborative working with SSE Renewables and Sungrow to safely deliver this key piece of infrastructure; critical in meeting the UK’s peak demand and power requirements.”

SSE is progressing a 1.2GW secured pipeline of solar and battery projects across the UK and Ireland; with a further 1.3GW of other prospective sites under development. These assets complement SSE’s existing portfolio of other low carbon infrastructure such as wind and hydro.

Ferrybridge is SSE’s second battery storage project under construction, with a 50MW BESS site at Salisbury due to be fully operational before the end of 2023. 

The business has also received planning consent for battery storage projects at Fiddler’s Ferry (150MW) and Monk Fryston (320MW).

SSE recently set out plans that could see the group invest up to £40bn in low carbon technology across the decade to 2031/32, with a fully funded £18bn five-year investment plan to 2027.

In doing so SSE expects to create 1,000 new green jobs a year.

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