New Thrive Renewables BESS begins operation on Feeder Road, Bristol. Image: Jim_Johnston_Photography_thrive
New Thrive Renewables BESS begins operation on Feeder Road, Bristol. Image: Jim Johnston Photography (Thrive Renewables).

Clean energy company Thrive Renewables has announced the opening of its biggest battery energy storage system (BESS) to date in the form of a 30MWh facility located on Feeder Road in Bristol.

The site is able to transfer energy for a duration of 1.5 hours with an overall 20MW capacity.

The asset marks Thrive’s third investment in clean energy for Bristol specifically, and also means the company has funded over a third of the city’s renewable electricity transition, contributing £29 million across three projects.

One of these schemes consists of England’s largest, 100% community owned onshore wind turbine located in Avonmouth.

These projects will likely continue as the company remains committed to doubling its generation capacity to more than 180MW over the next five years.

Thrive with local communities

The Feeder Road facility is a continuation of Thrive’s mission to include local community businesses in the development and maintenance of the new assets.

In 2020, the site was originally allocated for a diesel-fuelled short-term operating reserve (STOR) plant, but a planning appeal from St Paul’s Marsh residents shelved the project, leaving the space open for Thrive.

March 2023 saw the renewable energy firm offer Bristol Energy Cooperative a co-investment of 20% into the project, making it the first commercial battery owner to offer shared ownership to the local community.  

Thrive then worked alongside local developer Aura Power, appointed renewables consultancy, Everoze, and had Trina Storage supply the battery system.

The firm even received the award for ‘Collaboration in Community Energy’ at the Community Energy Awards alongside Aura Power, Bristol Energy Cooperative and Residents Against Dirty Energy (RADE).

Thrive Renewables plans to continue this theme, evident from its recent £4 million investment in Attix Community Interest Company for turbine construction in North Ayrshire.

It will be the first 100% community-owned onshore wind turbine in Scotland to operate commercially, without the benefit of government price support mechanisms.