As SSE’s flagship site, Salisbury BSS will contribute to SSE’s Net Zero Acceleration Programme. Image: SSE Renewables.

SSE Renewables has launched its first operative battery energy storage system (BESS) with a capacity of 50MW/100MWh. 

The final energisation tests for the 2-hour duration BESS, located at Salisbury, Wiltshire, were completed last week, and the asset is now trading in Great Britain’s wholesale energy market. 

Battery storage plays a key role in the journey to net zero due to its ability to hold and release energy as needed, particularly with the influx of intermittent and variable generation technologies such as solar. 

Richard Cave-Bigley, director of development and construction – solar and battery at SSE, said the “first-of-a-kind” project for SSE Renewables will be a “fantastic asset”. 

Construction of the 26-unit battery project started in 2022 in conjunction with project partners, technology group Wärtsilä. Completion was marked by the Member of Parliament for Salisbury, John Glen MP, at a ceremony on 12 April. 

John Glen MP at the opening ceremony. Image: SSE Renewables.

He said: “This welcome investment means supply of energy from renewable sources is reliable. Salisbury is leading the way as we continue our journey to net zero.” 

As SSE’s flagship site, Salisbury BSS will contribute to SSE’s Net Zero Acceleration Programme, a fully funded five-year investment plan. SSE Renewables will invest over £7 billion up until 2027 – an average of almost £4 million a day – to deliver low-carbon infrastructure. 

SSE Renewables is also constructing a 150MW battery project in Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire, which is due for completion in the first half of 2025, and a 320MW battery project in Monk Fryston, North Yorkshire, which is expected to be completed in up to two years’ time.  

Fluence to supply batteries for 300MWh SSE Renewables project 

As previously covered by Solar Power Portal in March, global systems integrator Fluence revealed it would supply batteries for a 150MW/300MWh battery storage project being developed by SSE Renewables at Fiddler’s Ferry, Warrington. 

The battery storage project is situated at the former SSE-owned coal-fired power station at Fiddler’s Ferry. The power station was decommissioned in March 2020 and the final demolition of its cooling towers occurred at the end of last year. 

SSE Renewables selected Fluence to supply the BESS, and contracted Stockport-based OCU Energy as principal contractor at Fiddler’s Ferry.