Swindon could soon become home to one of the UK’s largest energy storage projects, after a council-backed company secured planning permission for a giant 50MW facility on a brownfield site in the town.
Public Power Solutions (PPS), a wholly-owned company of Swindon Borough Council, secured planning consent for the project which would see a battery facility deployed at the council’s former Mannington Depot site.
The location is enclosed between the A3102, railway line, and Mannington Retail Park, and has access to a grid connection via the nearby substation at Toothill leading to relatively low grid connection costs.
PPS said that with planning approval confirmed it was now in discussions with developers seeking front of the meter battery storage opportunities to take on the funding and construction of the project.
“The project has a great location next to a sub-station, meaning the grid connection cost is very competitive – so this is a good opportunity for a developer looking for front of the meter battery storage opportunities that will enable them to generate an income in a variety of different ways,” said Steve Cains, head of power solutions at PPS in a statement. “Local authorities are in a unique position to benefit from the growing demand for electricity storage, with diverse property portfolios and high energy consumption.”
The project is intended to have a 30 year life-span and will provide the council with a long term rental income, while also offering the grid balancing services that will support the roll out of variable renewable technologies.
Cains said it was a model that could be replicated by other councils. “We’re making it work at home here in Swindon but this project could be replicated in many other parts of the country, helping generate an income for the cash-strapped public sector,” he said.