BayWa r.e. accelerates activities in the UK storage market
The Driffield project combines a 45 MWp PV solar energy production site with 30 MW battery storage using the same grid connection – making it one of the UK’s first co-locations for PV and BESS (battery energy solar storage) with shared grid export capacity. Whereas most current storage sites are standalone, an innovative co-located storage concept such as Driffield enables maximum use of grid capacity. It can also help to mitigate risks in the light of a growing need for more flexible assets, which are key to unlocking the full potential of renewable energy production.
Acquired from Harmony Energy, the fully consented PV project is set to begin construction at the end of 2022 and will be completed in early-mid 2023. Once up and running, the site will produce 45 GWh of renewable energy every year – equivalent to the annual electrical needs of approximately 11,400 family homes. The local community will be supported through a benefit package, while biodiversity measures include tree and shrub planting as well as the creation of new grassland habitats throughout fields at the site.
Stefan Tait, Head of Energy Storage and Hydrogen at BayWa r.e. UK, commented: “We are delighted to add this combined PV and storage project to our portfolio and take it through the next development stages. Innovative concepts like co-located storage are a fantastic opportunity for efficient solar energy production. We’re very proud to be building one of the first projects in the UK and we have strong ambitions to become a leader in this space. In line with this, we’re making rapid progress with our plans to increase our co-located storage pipeline in the UK – an increasingly dynamic market.”
In July 2021, BayWa r.e. announced that it had acquired another co-located storage project, Scurf Dyke near Hull, where a 50 MW battery will be linked to a 80 MWp solar farm, with commissioning expected in Q2 2023. Together with Driffield, they represent BayWa r.e.’s largest storage projects in Europe. Beyond the UK, BayWa r.e. is actively pursuing other storage projects in core European markets and the US.
Increasing the productivity of solar farms
In conjunction with this news, BayWa r.e. has signed a new operations and maintenance contract for storage sites, in partnership with Ingenious. The two locations, Bourne Park South Storage and Slepe Farm Storage, both in Dorset, are also innovative BESS sites.
Commenting on this was Max Methe, Director of Services EMEA at BayWa r.e.: “Diversifying our operation and maintenance services for new and existing customers is a key focus for us and securing this new storage project is a great step to take. It underlines our ambitions at BayWa r.e. to be not only a leading developer but also service provider for storage technologies, that ultimately optimise the productivity of renewable energy assets and have the potential to propel Europe’s energy transition forward.”