Supervising the installation of the giant batteries is United Utilities’ construction supervisor, Stuart Hartley. Image: Zenobe.

Two containerised battery storage systems have been successfully installed at United Utilities’ Clifton Marsh wastewater treatment works to help the company take full advantage of its onsite solar.

The 2MW batteries were provided by Zenobe Energy, and will work in series providing three hours of capacity for the site.

The site, which is located in Preston, Lancashire, runs 24 hours and helps to provide water to 260,000 local homes and businesses.

Steve Slavin, head of Renewable Energy at United Utilities, explained that the batteries will allow the company to maket the most of its solar panels. “That’s good for the environment and good for our business,” he continued.

“The batteries will allow us to help the National Grid even out the peaks and troughs in power demand throughout the day. This is exactly the sort of innovation water companies need to be embracing if we are to meet the sector’s goal of zero net carbon emissions by 2030.”

Zenobe Energy announced that it was to finance, install and operate the batteries at the Preston site in February. They are being lauded as the largest batteries in the water sector.

James Basden, co-founder of Zenobe Energy, said: “These batteries will provide a complete solution that will optimise any excess onsite solar, trade in a range of electricity markets to support National Grid, provide power resilience and save at least 6,700 tonnes of CO2 over the life of the 15 year contract.”

The installation follows the UK battery storage firm securing £25 million in funding from Santander in December, to target both behind-the-meter services and construction of new utility-scale projects.

United Utilities already has more than 60 land-based renewable systems, largely solar arrays. This includes a number of floating solar systems, such as a 1MW installation that sits on the surface of Langthwaite Reservoir in Lancaster.