SAE achieves major milestone in the development of ‘one of the largest’ BESS projects in the UK. Image: Chris Allen (Geograph).

Simec Atlantis Energy (SAE) has secured the necessary grid variations for “one of the largest” battery energy storage systems (BESS) in the UK, the company has said.

The 230MW/460MWh BESS project will be developed at a former coal generation site in Uskmouth, with the project on track for being operational by 2024. Construction is expected to take around 18 months.

SAE previously signed a contract with Energy Optimisation Solutions and Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners via the two’s portfolio company Uskmouth Energy Storage (UES) to deliver the project.

According to the firm, the project is expected to deliver around £40 million in revenue to the company over a period of 30 years.

Running alongside securing grid variations for the BESS project, SAE has also received an initial £6 million payment from UES in the form of an interest-free loan. The loan will cover the period of the option agreement and will be repaid from the £6 million development premium payable on the award of planning.

Planning permission is also said to be progressing well, SAE said, with a planning application having now been submitted to the local Newport City council with an eye for it to be awarded in Q4 2022.

The Uskmouth power station in Wales closed in 2015, and the new BESS will utilise existing power transmission infrastructure at the site including its 230MW grid connection.

SAE is pursuing several core objectives to maximise the renewable potential of the company in addition to creating new opportunities in a carbon-free society.

These include delivering maximum value from the Uskmouth site, something that could put the company in the eyes of global BESS developments. Furthermore, the firm will focus on developing international opportunities for its coal-fired power station fuel pellet conversion business in addition to developing the next stages of the MeyGen Project.

A Contract for Difference (CFD) have recently been awarded for a further 28MW of tidal stream power at the MeyGen site which is already home to the world’s largest tidal stream array, the firm said.

SAE also stated that the MeyGen project accounted for 75% of the total global tidal stream output and could be expanded to deliver a capacity of almost 400MW at a cost almost equivalent to nuclear energy.

A string of recent BESS projects have secured planning and building rights. Lynher Energy acquired rights to build 96MW solar, 100MWh BESS project in late July paving the way for the firm to develop two solar battery farms with adjacent battery storage facilities.

At the same time, Cambridge Power secured planning permission to construct a 100MW BESS project set to be situated in Bramford, Suffolk, adding to the company’s portfolio. It follows another project secured earlier this year in Glasgow for a 29MW BESS.