Former gas asset to be turned into a “green energy hub” with solar, battery and hydrogen capabilities. Image: Centrica.

Centrica is set to repurpose a former gas-fired power plant in North Yorkshire to include a 28MW battery storage system and the potential to develop off-grid hydrogen production and solar.

The first project at the site will be a 28MW/56MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) which will utilise some of the 41.5MW export capability of the existing grid connection.

Through the acquisition of the four-acre Knapton Generating Station from Third Energy, Centrica will concentrate efforts to create battery energy storage capabilities at the former gas plant and also explore opportunities to create hydrogen and utilise solar.

The deal, which is said to be in the multi-million pound range, is part of a strategic plan by Centrica to create a wealthy portfolio of battery and solar assets by 2026. This will see the portfolio consist of around 900MW.

“Taking an old fossil fuel asset and revitalising it to help advance the decarbonisation of the grid not only feels the right thing to do from a sustainability point of view, but aligns with our strategy,” said Greg McKenna, Managing Director of Centrica Business Solutions.

“We’re quickly acquiring a portfolio of assets that can play an important role in facilitating a net zero future for the UK.”  

The new project will add to Centrica’s growing list of renewable projects in its portfolio. Last year, the firm confirmed that construction had started on the 18MW Codford Solar Farm, near Warminster in Wiltshire.

The firm also confirmed its largest investment in storage capacity to date in September 2023 via plans to convert a decommissioned gas-fired power station in Lincolnshire into a 100MWh battery storage facility.

Working in partnership with GE, Centrica started construction of the battery storage project at Brigg that same month and stated the project would provide energy storage for 43 onshore wind farms across the county.