Solar panels next to a BESS unit
The system will have a capacity of 360MW. Image: GridBeyond.

Solar and energy storage developer Elements Green has secured planning permission for its Staythorpe battery energy storage system (BESS). The project will have a 360MW peak and a storage capacity of 720MWh, and has a planned operational life of 40 years. Elements Green has set a target date of 2026 for the system to become operational.

The plans include several elements aimed at benefiting the community. These include more than 12 acres of land dedicated to woodland creation and wildflower meadows, planting 129 trees, and creating a new permissive footpath through the site. The site is expected to bring a biodiversity net gain of at least 25.7%.

Elements Green executive chairman Mark Turner commented: “Securing planning permission is a remarkable achievement for our team. We are preparing to begin construction and bring our vision to life, creating not only a state-of-the-art energy storage solution but also making a positive contribution to the local environment with additional planting and the creation of a permissive path. Through its connection into the existing national grid substation at Staythorpe, the project builds on the Trent Valley’s long history of powering the UK.

“This achievement is a testament to the dedication and exceptional expertise of our UK development team”, explains Mark. “We are excited about the future and the positive impact this project will have on our organisation and the broader community. The UK Government has set ambitious and legally binding targets to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050. More renewable energy is needed to fast-track away from fossil fuels, and energy storage and large-scale solar development are recognised as having an important role in achieving this.”

BESS development on the rise

The UK has been ranked the world’s third most attractive country for BESS development, and major investment into the UK BESS sector has been on the rise.

Power producer RWE has been making significant moves in the BESS sector, with the company recently announcing it was moving forward with proposals for a 350MW BESS to be located in Wales.  In March, RWE began construction on its first seven UK solar and energy storage sites, which collectively represent 330MW of solar capacity and 45MW of co-located energy storage capacity.

A report published by trade association RenewableUK in May showed that the total pipeline of BESS projects has increased by 67.4% in the last year, with 95.6GW of BESS capacity in some stage of development.

Small-scale battery storage installations have also seen a meteoric rise, with a report by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) showing battery storage installations rising by 707% year-on-year in March  2024.