Aerial view of HEIT’s 99MW/198MWh Bumpers project in Surrey. Image: Harmony Energy Income Trust.

Harmony Energy Income Trust (HEIT) has energised two grid-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) assets, including one of the same size as its flagship ‘largest BESS project in Europe’.

The battery storage investor announced today that it has energised Bumpers, a 99MW/198MWh asset in Surrey, England, as well as the 49.5MW/99MWh Little Raith project in Fife, Scotland. The pair went online and into operation earlier this month, HEIT said.

The output of Bumpers is 1MW larger than the investor’s Pillswood project, and has the same capacity in megawatt-hours. Pillswood was brought online in November 2022 and is currently thought to be the largest standalone battery storage system in Europe.

It was also winner of Standalone Grid-Scale Project of the Year in the Energy Storage Awards hosted by our publisher Solar Media a few weeks ago, and was the subject of a case study article for our quarterly journal PV Tech Power earlier this year, written by Alex Thornton, operations manager at HEIT’s parent company Harmony Energy.

Developer Harmony Energy, which now has around a gigawatt-hour of BESS projects in operation in the GB market as well as a pipeline of a few hundred megawatt-hours in development or construction, launched HEIT in 2019 to raise funding for its battery projects.

HEIT itself now has 277.5MW/555MWh in operation across five projects and is scheduled to complete a further three projects within the next six months, the company claimed.

An initial public offering was held for HEIT in 2022, and in February this year it said asset value grew by 24.84% to £257.8 million in the first full year that followed, as reported by Solar Power Portal.

Meanwhile the Pillswood project was among the best-performing battery assets in GB in Q1 2023, the investor claimed, with £2.3 million revenues netted between its energisation and the end of April this year.

Projects aim to reduce National Grid wind curtailment

The two new 2-hour duration projects both utilise Tesla Megapack BESS units, with Harmony Energy a longstanding customer of the California-headquartered electric vehicle and battery storage manufacturer.

Wilson Power Solutions supplied transformers to the project, while the assets will interact with the market using Tesla’s Autobidder algorithmic trading platform. The platform is already in use at three HEIT sites, including Pillswood.

HEIT talked up the ability of the BESS assets to help balance the grid, and emphasised the role batteries can play in reducing the curtailment of wind generation in its announcement today.

HEIT signed a technology supply deal earlier this year with China’s Envision Energy for two BESS projects adding up to 80MW/166MWh and expected to come online in the first half of 2024. Meanwhile, it has also contracted bp to serve as power trader and optimiser on those projects, marking the fossil fuel giant’s first BESS optimisation deals since its acquisition of market player Open Energi.