Energy provider Scottish Power has revealed plans to build a gigantic battery in order to store electricity created by its army of wind turbines.
The company said the Whitlee onshore wind farm, which houses 215 turbines and is already one of the UK’s largest, will be hooked up to a lithium-ion battery that’s half the size of a football pitch.
A Guardian report on Monday revealed the battery offers twice the capacity of any battery in the United Kingdom and represents a major step towards helping the UK economy become a global leader in renewable energy.
The 50MW battery systems will store energy when wind speeds are higher in order to create residual power when the speeds drop. It can be fully charged in just half an hour, Scottish Power says.
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Scottish Power CEO Keith Anderson said: “Batteries will take renewable energy to the next level. It is a nice, neat solution to help use more and more renewable power in the UK, because that’s what we need to be doing to reach a net zero-carbon economy.
“Over a period of time, we will get to use much more wind output from the project, and across the whole of the country, because even at times of low demand we will be able to capture far more of the wind rather than wasting that potential energy.”
The UK government’s current target to hit net zero-carbon emissions is 2050, and this project has been described as a “significant step” in ending the reliance on oil, coal and gas. Scottish Power had previously vowed it would generate all of its power from wind, becoming the first UK energy company to completely commit fully to abandon fossil fuels.
The battery installation just outside of Glasgow is expected to be completed and operational by the end of 2020.