Europe’s biggest battery energy storage system energised

Aerial photo of battery energy storage system (BESS) the Pillswood project
Harmony Energy Limited's Pillswood project

UK-based renewables developer Harmony Energy has successfully brought Europe’s largest Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)—the Pillswood project—online.

Employing a Tesla two-hour Megapack system, the Pillswood project, near Hull, has the capacity to store up to 196MWh of electricity in a single cycle—enough electricity to power around 300,000 UK homes for two hours.

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The project will provide critical balancing services to the GB electricity grid network whilst also enabling the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy.

The site is located adjacent to National Grid’s Creyke Beck substation, the same connection point proposed for phases “A” and “B” of the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank, which is set to go live on the first phase in Summer 2023.

Batteries enable National Grid to maximise the efficiency of wind farms by reducing the amount of time a wind farm needs to be switched off, ‘curtailed’, due to supply/demand imbalances or network constraints.

Construction of the Pillswood project has been managed by Tesla. The project was originally intended to become operational over two phases in December 2022 and March 2023, but the timetable has accelerated to enable both phases to energise this month, in time to support National Grid in its efforts to provide stable and secure power to UK households over the challenging winter period.

The project will be operated through Autobidder, Tesla’s algorithmic trading platform, which has demonstrated a strong track record over the past two years in managing the Holes Bay and Contego projects—two existing battery storage projects also developed by Harmony Energy Limited in conjunction with FRV.

Harmony Energy director Peter Kavanagh said, “The completion and energisation of the Pillswood scheme, the largest of its kind in Europe by energy capacity, is a significant milestone for Harmony Energy Income Trust, being the first of six similar projects the Trust intends to deliver in the coming year.

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“It is also a significant achievement for Harmony Energy Limited: this project is the third, and largest, battery energy storage project which we have developed and subsequently delivered through construction.

“All stakeholders have recognised the importance of achieving energisation for this project ahead of winter, and we would like to thank Tesla, G2 Energy and Northern Powergrid for their efforts in delivering the project ahead of schedule despite a very challenging geopolitical and global supply chain environment.”

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