It is exciting to see that planning permission has been approved for the world's largest battery energy storage scheme (1GW) to be built right on our doorstep. The project is located at Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park, which until 1991 was the site of Carrington coal-fired power station. This Energy Park is designed to accelerate the North West's route to net-zero through the provision of multiple renewable projects, and thereby help Manchester with its ambitious target to achieve net-zero by 2038, 12 years ahead of the overall UK target. As a result, the battery storage site is planned to sit alongside a green hydrogen project and a liquid air energy storage system. Both this battery project and the green energy project will be provided by Carlton Power, while the liquid air storage system will be provided by Highview Power Storage Inc.
The battery storage system itself will not generate any renewable energy, but will provide the ability to store and supply power on demand and will therefore provide more resilience to the energy system in the North West. This is going to be vital in supporting to the energy transition and the growth of renewable power generation in the region.
While the building of the scheme still appears to be subject to a final investment decision, construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year (2024) with the potential for commercial operation from 2025.
It remains to be seen the exact battery technologies that will be utilised in the project, and whether any specialised innovation will arise, but we will watch this space with interest.