Cash-strapped councils are increasingly looking to innovative methods of generating both energy and income, and now a large scale battery storage scheme in Swindon has been given planning permission with the local borough council now looking for partners to help build a 50MW project.
Public Power Solutions, the wholly-owned company of Swindon Borough Council, is behind the project, and the facility will be one of the largest developed in the UK to date.
Cllr Toby Elliott, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainability, said: ‘The fact this will be one of the largest battery storage schemes in the UK speaks volumes for our ambition in Swindon.
It also shows our willingness to look for innovative ways in which to utilise our assets, generating an income for the Council to protect vital services.’
The facility is designed to have a 30-year lifespan and will generate income for the council as well as delivering balancing services for National Grid.
The batteries can also store energy when it is cheaper, so that it can be discharged when demand and cost is higher.
Steve Cains, Head of Power Solutions, PPS, said: ‘Local authorities are in a unique position to benefit from the growing demand for electricity storage, with diverse property portfolios and high energy consumption.
We’re making it work at home here in Swindon but this project could be replicated in many other parts of the country, helping generate an income for the cash-strapped public sector.’