recurrent windel harker site layout
A proposed site layout of the BESS project, showing the BESS containers on the right, connecting to the substation on the left. Image: Recurrent Energy / Windel Energy.

Cumberland Council has granted planning permission for a 200MW/400MWh BESS project from developers Recurrent Energy and Windel Energy which, unless a new grid connection date is agreed, won’t start construction until 2029.

The 2-hour duration Harker project is located between the villages of Todhills and West Linton on the outskirts of Carlisle, and will connect to the Harker National Grid Substation via an underground 400kV cable.

It is anticipated to start construction in Q4 2029, although transmission system operator (TSO) National Grid is currently reviewing the acceleration of its grid connection, which could mean it comes online sooner, Recurrent said.

The planning application approval follows a period of local consultation, Recurrent Energy said. This included meetings with various key stakeholders, a dedicated project website, extensive landscaping to provide robust visual and noise mitigation, extensive acoustic fencing to limit noise impact, the provision of detailed battery storage FAQs and the implementation of a 23% Biodiversity Net Gain aim.

The site covers three fields totalling 6.4 hectares and will house 162 battery energy storage system (BESS) units.

Recurrent Energy is the project development arm of Canada-headquartered PV module and BESS manufacturer Canadian Solar, and just last week secured a revolving credit facility of £1.1 billion for its global pipeline.

Its BESS arm e-Storage is active in the UK market already, in December signing a deal with international utility and independent power producer (IPP) Engie for two separate 50MW/100MWh projects.

In other BESS industry news, this week also saw the first BESS units arrive on-site at a 150MW/300MWh project under construction by SSE Renewables, while last week developer NatPower announced plans for an earlier-stage 1GW BESS project in North East England.