‘World’s largest’ BESS project gets approval

UK’s Carlton Power planning 1 GW project

Carlton Power, a UK independent energy infrastructure development company, has secured planning permission for what it calls the world’s largest battery energy storage (BESS) project.

The 1GW (1040MW / 2080MWh) project will be located at the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park in Greater Manchester. The £750 million BESS project is designed to strengthen the security and resilience of the energy system in the North West of England, and support the energy transition and the growth of renewable power generation in the region, the company said.

Planning permission for the BESS was granted by Trafford Council, the local planning authority.

Subject to a final investment decision, construction of the battery storage project is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year (2024) with it entering commercial operation in the final quarter of 2025. Carlton Power is in advanced talks with companies to finance, build and operate the Trafford BESS.

A multi-faceted clean tech project site, built out of an old coal power plant in the UK, will be home to what developers are calling the world’s largest battery energy storage system. (Image: Carlton Power)

The Trafford BESS is Carlton Power’s second major energy project that has been consented for the c12 hectare Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park, eight miles south of Manchester. The other project is Carlton’s 200 MW Trafford Green Hydrogen project; the first phase (15-20MW) is also set to enter commercial operation in Q4 2025.

In March 2023, the UK Department for Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ) shortlisted the £50m green hydrogen first phase to receive financial support from the Government’s Hydrogen Business Model / Net Zero Hydrogen Fund in the first Hydrogen Allocation Round (HAR1).

Trafford Green Hydrogen (200MW) was consented by Trafford Council in September 2022, making it the UK’s largest consented green hydrogen project. Carlton Power also recently secured planning permission for one of the UK’s first hydrogen pipelines at the Trafford site.

In addition to Carlton Power’s two projects, Highview Power Storage Inc. is planning to build and operate the world’s first commercial liquid air storage system – a £250m 250MWh long duration, cryogenic energy storage system – on the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park, which was until 1991 the site of the Carrington coal-fired power station. The Low Carbon Energy Park is located close to Manchester Ship Canal and the £750m Carrington flexible gas-fired power station which entered operation in 2016.

“Carlton Power acquired the former coal-fired power station in 2008 to redevelop the site for new energy projects,” said Keith Clarke, Founder and Chief Executive of Carlton Power. “With the approval of the BESS, this brings the total investment value of the site to £2bn, which will deliver significant economic benefits to the Greater Manchester region and help to deliver the regional net zero targets. The investment in the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park over the next 2-5 years demonstrates Carlton’s long-term vision and commitment to re-energizing the Trafford site.”

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