Swindon firm plans major battery storage plant for former town depot site

December 1, 2017

One of the UK’s largest battery-based electricity storage sites could be developed in Swindon under plans drawn up by local firm Public Power Solutions (PPS).

The company, wholly owned by Swindon Borough Council, has submitted a planning application to build the facility on the former Mannington Depot. 

It said the scheme would provide the opportunity to feed power into the National Grid, to help enable the growing proportion of renewable generation in the UK and ensure greater flexibility for the energy system in line with the government’s new Industrial Strategy.

It would have a maximum capacity of up to 50 MW – making it one of the largest standalone batteries to be developed so far in the UK.

Its 30-year lifespan would also offer significant land rental value for the council for a brownfield site, PPS said.

The site, between the A3102, railway line and Mannington Retail Park, was previously used as a municipal depot.

The batteries would be housed in containers and connected to the grid via the nearby substation at Toothill.

PPS head of power solutions Steve Cains said: “We’re really excited that Swindon continues to lead the way with implementing innovative green energy technologies. Rapid technological advances have now made energy storage a viable proposition.

“This has the potential to be a real game-changer, helping to integrate the variable generation from renewables, reduce costs for consumers, and build a clean energy system fit for the future.

“The site at Mannington is perfect for a facility like this, and we’d like to help other local authorities develop similar projects.”

Council cabinet member for sustainability Cllr Toby Elliott added: “I am really excited by this battery storage project, which builds on the success of our award-winning community solar farm schemes and shows that Swindon is once again blazing the trail in the clean energy field.

“It also shows how our inventive use of technology can generate an income for the council at a time when we are having to close a £30m funding gap over the next two-and-a-half years.”

PPS has a turnover of around £12m and employing nearly 80 staff.

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