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Kona Energy, a UK based company that is focused on developing grid-scale battery energy storage projects, has been granted planning approval to build one of Europe's largest battery storage facilities. The firm will build a 200MW battery storage facility in Heysham, Lancashire, that is set to save 45,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum, which is the equivalent of taking 15,000 cars off the road per year.
The startup argues that despite the massive renewable energy projects being developed in the country, the UK is lacking critical infrastructure that is forcing the National Grid to pay wind farms to stop generating electricity at certain times of the day.
Andy Willis, the CEO of Kona Energy, previously told Express.co.uk that the UK is throwing away a golden opportunity at a time when household energy bills have reached record highs.
Mr Willis warned that since most powerful wind farms are far away from busy centres like London or Manchester, the UK is forced to turn them off during times of high supply to prevent an overload of the National Grid.
To solve this wastage of energy, Kona has decided to build its facility at the landing point of six offshore wind farms, including one of the world's largest, the Walney wind farm.
Energy crisis: UK to build 'Europe's largest’ battery storage to end £1bn ‘waste of energy and money (Image: Getty)
Wind farms are located at the edges of the country where there are higher wind speeds (Image: Getty)
According to Mr Willis, this storage facility is being built to connect to the B7a constraint boundary, which is one of the most constrained areas in the UK where wind farms and other low carbon technologies are regularly curtailed.
According to Kona Energy, this project will help to alleviate grid constraints, reduce energy bills and increase the utilisation of renewable energy.
Mr Willis added that even though these wind farms have to be turned off at certain points, the contracts that the Government signed mean that the UK still has to pay the wind farm developers, essentially paying a billion pounds a year to turn off wind turbines.
A statement from Kona said: "Aside from managing increasing grid constraints, the battery system will provide crucial local grid services, in the form of inertia and reactive power support.
Six ways Britain could lead a green revolution (Image: Express)
"This will be increasingly important following the closure of the Heysham nuclear power stations in 2024 and 2028."
Mr Willis commented: "Roughly one billion pounds was spent in the last year curtailing energy from wind farms and other generators, replacing that need elsewhere – usually from fossil-fuelled stations.
"Tackling this enormous waste of both money and energy is crucial.
"Further battery storage facilities will significantly reduce this burden and we are proud to be leading the way with the approval of such a critical project.
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Kona’s battery storage facility will save a billion pounds a year (Image: Costfoto/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
"As these constraint costs rise, projects like this are essential to relieving network congestion and reducing unnecessary waste."
"With other major projects in the pipeline, we're confident that Kona can cement its industry-leading reputation even further and continue to deliver constructive solutions which will lower bills, increase our energy security and help the country to fulfil its net zero ambitions."
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