Work starts on West Midlands battery storage site

Work has officially started on a battery storage facility in the West Midlands which will hold enough electricity to power more than 100,000 homes for two hours.

Pivot Power – part of EDF Renewables – has started work on the site, which is connected to National Grid’s Bustleholme substation in Sandwell.

The project means that the West Midlands will become one of the first areas in the country to benefit from the battery storage specialist’s Energy Superhub network, helping to reduce the region’s carbon emissions, improve air quality and support sustainable economic growth.

Alongside a similar site in Coventry, which is due to begin construction in early 2022, the grid-scale battery system will replicate core elements of Pivot Power’s Energy Superhub Oxford project – one of the most ambitious urban decarbonisation projects undertaken in the UK to date, combining a cutting-edge energy storage system with a powerful electric vehicle (EV) charging network.

It will also put Sandwell at the centre of the UK’s green revolution.

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Matt Allen, CEO of Pivot Power, said: “The movement towards zero carbon energy is unstoppable and our technology provides the lynchpin to bring that to scale.

“Renewable energy and battery storage are complementary, interconnected and interdependent – we must have both to achieve net zero. Our project at Sandwell will help to create the essential infrastructure for the UK to accelerate net zero.”

Pivot Power has already seen the activation of two lithium-ion battery storage systems in Oxford and Kent. Both systems form part of the company’s plans to deploy up to 40 similar sites throughout the UK.

Councillor Steve Melia, West Bromwich Town Lead at Sandwell Council, said: “Sandwell Council is committed to supporting renewable energy and empowering our community to live greener, more sustainable lives.

“Pivot Power’s site enables us to reach that goal, helping to support more renewable energy and meet the burgeoning demand for electric vehicle charging. The site is at the heart of a vibrant infrastructure area, made up of transport hubs, garages and service stations, and will help to create a more sustainable transport network.”

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Roisin Quinn, director of customer connections at National Grid Electricity Transmission, added: “We’re working hard to connect innovative technology such as this Pivot Power project to our network, using new techniques and approaches to ensure they can connect directly to the high voltage system.

“Electricity storage, especially projects directly connected to the transmission system, can help manage peaks and troughs in demand for electricity – making the electricity system more efficient and keeping costs down for consumers too.”

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