Battery energy storage system from Statkraft in Ireland
Statkraft has been granted planning permission for its fifth Greener Grid Park. Image: Statkraft

Norwegian state-owned power company Statkraft has been granted planning permission for its fifth Greener Grid Park, located adjacent to the Coylton substation in East Ayrshire.

National Grid ESO has identified Coylton as an area in need of grid stabilisation, which Statkraft aims to achieve via its battery technology.

The stability will be provided by grid-forming converters attached, which always stay in ‘grid-forming’ mode, meaning they inherently resist changes in voltage and frequency on the electricity grid.

Statkraft originally submitted a minor planning application for Coylton Greener Grid Park in 2021 and received consent from East Ayrshire Council in August 2022 with the application receiving no objections.

However, once ESO had published the specific requirements necessary for the project to be viable, Statkraft altered its application and resubmitted it.

Coylton will join two operating Greener Grid Parks, Keith in north-east Scotland and Lister Drive in Liverpool, with construction already underway on a third in Renfrewshire and a fourth site in Swansea, which will begin construction later in 2024.

The site also plans to deliver an annual community fund of £20,000, supporting environmental projects in the local area during the lifetime of the project.

Sarah Tullie, Statkraft’s project manager for Coylton Greener Grid Park, said: “Greener Grid Parks are a key tool in helping the UK transition to green energy. Projects like them mean we will eventually end the need to turn on polluting fossil fuel power stations, just to provide stability to the electricity grid.”

Statkraft’s growing portfolio

The Norwegian power firm has been steadily developing a UK-based battery energy storage system (BESS) portfolio, acquiring many notable sites over the last year.

One of these was Statkraft’s acquisition of the 450MW pumped storage hydro project being developed near Loch Ness in Scotland in December 2023.

The company secured the Red John Pumped Storage Hydro Scheme from Intelligent Land Investments Group (ILI), a clean energy development firm based in Hamilton, Scotland.

Also, in September 2023, Statkraft partnered with pan-European company Fluence to deliver a 4-hour BESS in Ireland.

The 20MW BESS will be deployed in County Offaly, in the Republic of Ireland, at Statkraft’s 55.8MW Cushaling wind farm, which is already under construction. The partnered firms expect to finish construction by the end of 2024.

The site will be able to discharge 20MW for up to four hours, longer than the typical duration deployed in the Ireland market to date, which has been between 30 minutes and two hours, according to Statkraft.