The BESS site is located in Worcester. Image: TagEnergy.

Renewable energy enterprise TagEnergy and energy developer Balance Power have revealed their intention to build, own and operate a 30MW battery storage project at Rectory Farm in Worcester, the first of a 500MW pipeline. 

The announcement comes as Balance Power secured planning approval for the development from Wychavon County Council earlier this year following extensive community engagement. The project is expected to be energised in 2024, and is owned jointly by Balance Power and TagEnergy, with TagEnergy the majority shareholder.

Phil Thompson, CEO at Balance Power, said: “Rectory Farm marks an exciting beginning to implementing our joint venture with TagEnergy, and showcases our strong working relationship to date and shared ambition to accelerate the energy transition in the UK.”

Thompson told SPP that the planning process for their latest project was relatively easy, as the company works with landowners in areas where grid connections and planning permission will be easier to secure. Although the site of Rectory Farm is on greenbelt, there were no hard objections from the local community.

The two companies signed an agreement in late 2022 to build, own and operate 500MW of battery energy storage system (BESS) projects across the UK, as reported by Solar Power Portal.

In developing energy storage projects across the UK, the partners aim to increase the reliability of the region's renewable sector and provide flexibility to the energy network. Thompson told SPP that the company has now deployed around 2GW of battery storage.

DNOs like UK Power Networks say they are going to prioritise flexibility services as grid connection delays are beginning to affect renewable energy projects. Thompson told SPP that grid issues were “affecting a proportion of our development portfolio. Connection delays will unfortunately persist for a long time.There are solutions which will speed things up a bit but it won’t solve the problem.”

The partnership will also increase TagEnergy’s current portfolio of over 300MW of ready-to-build or under construction battery projects by an additional 500MW at different stages of development.

“Gaining planning approval for this first project in our joint venture was a key step in building our pipeline, triggering our agreement for TagEnergy to take majority equity in Rectory Farm and strengthening our goal to connect more sustainable, competitive and clean power to the national grid, helping the UK decarbonise sooner,” said Franck Woitiez, CEO of TagEnergy.

In other TagEnergy news, the organisation closed a €570 million (£487 million) green bond to boost its solar, wind and energy storage pipelines in the UK, Europe and Australia.

As reported by Solar Power Portal's sister publication, €270 million would go towards the 1.3GW Golden Plains Wind Farm onshore wind project in Victoria, Australia, while the remaining €300 million will go across the wider portfolio. The company recently achieved financial close on a portion of Golden Plains as well as 169MW of BESS projects in the UK.

The latter includes two 49MW/98MWh units in Scotland announced in January with financing from Santander, covered by Solar Power Portal here and here. The company then brought online a similarly sized system near Luton in May, also with some financing from Santander.