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Big boost for north’s Green Renaissance as major battery storage system gets green light

Northumberland’s Green Industrial Renaissance has been given a big boost with the approval of a multi-million-pound 30MW/60MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) for a site near Blyth.

One of the UK’s leading clean energy solutions companies, Enviromena, has been given permission to build a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on land at Sleekburn, which had previously been earmarked for a gas hub.  Enviromena’s BESS will have an expandable zero-carbon, 60MWh solution and will help to balance power supply at peak times.

Enviromena’s CEO, Cabell Fisher, commented: “I am very proud of Enviromena’s development team for the Sleekburn BESS planning approval.  Although our team already has substantial experience constructing these types of storage projects, it represents Enviromena’s first approval from its 1GW+ BESS development pipeline and reinforces the fact that the company and team have what it takes to successfully deliver all types of renewable energy solutions for our clients and stakeholders.

The approval comes at a time when UK consumers’ energy prices have increased by 54% because of the unpredictability of fossil fuel supply in part caused by the war in Ukraine. Home-grown renewable energy solutions like the Sleekburn BESS project are seen as one of the best solutions to reduce industrial and consumer energy costs as well as to ensure a more stable UK energy future.

Enviromena’s European Sales Director, Lee Adams, said: “It’s a tremendously exciting project for us and we’re absolutely delighted with the approval. The site represents a significant investment by our company.”

The timing of the site’s approval couldn’t be better, off the back of an extremely successful event at Solar & Storage Live in Birmingham*, which was attended by thousands of delegates in the solar, storage and EV industry. This event has long been the largest gathering of UK solar and storage manufacturers, developers and installers – encouraging the collaboration of the two industries to firmly establish the place of both technologies in the future energy system.

Lee Adams continued: “At a time when events like Solar & Storage Live are really taking off, now is the time to be driving forward with our progress in renewables.

“Enviromena’s BESS scheme not only supports the increase in renewable wind power coming off the north east coast, but also underlines our commitment to the area’s Green Industrial Renaissance and the UK’s broader renewable ambitions.”

BESSs are an essential component of the UK Government’s strategy to hit its 2030 renewable targets when it’s predicted that almost 10% of grid capacity will have to be provided by battery storage. Currently, UK battery storage deployment is rising with a 20GW+ pipeline of utility-scale battery storage projects across 800 projects.

The announcement from Enviromena follows the approval of plans by the Northumberland County Council for JDR Cable Systems’ plant on the former coal-fired power station at Cambois, near Blyth, which will manufacture undersea cables for offshore energy projects. This £130m investment will provide more than 200 jobs.

In 2000, the UK’s first wind farm was installed at Blyth. Further, when the Dogger Bank Wind farm is completed 130km off the northeast coast in 2026, it will be the world’s largest with its 277 giant turbines delivering power to six million UK homes.

Summing up, Enviromena’s Lee Adams said: “What’s really significant is that we’re replacing a previous permission for a gas generator with a clean energy solution. As a company and a country, I believe this is exactly where we want to be.”

Cabell Fisher, CEO of Enviromena, said: “With this approval, we are proud the Enviromena team will deliver a large-scale project that will make a meaningful difference in how the UK’s homes are connected to renewable, cleaner energy. Not only will this project reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and help to offset the impacts of climate change, it should also help UK households to lower their energy bills in the future as the UK reduces its dependence on imported fossil fuels.”

Enviromena is one of the UK’s largest clean energy solutions companies and has more than 2GW+ of active solar farms and battery energy storage systems in development and operation throughout the UK and Europe.