Europe's biggest battery storage goes live, can power 300,000 UK homes for two hours

The project employs a Tesla 2-hour Megapack which enables it to store up to 196MWh of electricity in a single cycle.
Deena Theresa
The battery energy storage system near Hull can hold enough electricity to power 300,000 homes for two hours
The battery energy storage system near Hull can hold enough electricity to power 300,000 homes for two hours

Harmony Energy Limited 

The Pillswood project, a 98MW capacity battery energy storage system located near Hull, went live on Monday. Developed by Harmony Energy Limited, the project is considered Europe's biggest battery energy storage system and is managed by a Tesla 2-hour Megapack system.

This allows it to store up to 196MWh (megawatt hours) of electricity in one cycle, enabling it to power around 300,000 UK homes for two hours.

"Battery energy storage systems are essential to unlocking the full potential of renewable energy in the UK, and we hope this particular one highlights Yorkshire as a leader in green energy solutions," Peter Kavanagh, director of Harmony Energy, said in a statement.

“It is also a significant achievement for Harmony Energy Limited: this project is the third, and largest, battery energy storage project which we have developed and subsequently delivered through construction," he said.

According to the press release, the company preponed the launch by four months as the UK is likely to face energy shortages this winter.

Possible energy crisis in the UK accelerated the project

Industry regulator Ofgem said Russia's war with Ukraine could result in a "gas supply emergency" in the UK. This can lead to supplies being cut to power stations that rely on gas to power the country.

In a BBC report from October, Ofgem said, "Due to the war in Ukraine and gas shortages in Europe, there is a significant risk that gas shortages could occur during winter 2022-23 in Great Britain. As a result, there is a possibility that Great Britain could enter into a gas supply emergency.

If this happens, supplies would be cut to "the largest gas users" which are likely to be "large gas-fired power stations which produce electricity to the National Electricity Transmission System"."

Originally, the Pillswood project was to be switched on in two stages - December 2022 and March 2023. The company stressed that the launch was "to support National Grid in its efforts to provide stable and secure power to UK households over the challenging winter period".

Five more energy storage systems under construction

The project has been built next to the National Grid's Creyke Beck substation, which will be connected to the world's largest offshore wind farm in Dogger Bank when it launches in the North Sea by the end of this decade.

"These projects are not supported by taxpayer subsidy and will play a major role in contributing to the Net Zero transition, as well as ensuring the future security of the UK's energy supply and reduced reliance on foreign gas imports," said Kavanagh.

Kavanagh also highlighted that Harmony Energy would roll out five energy storage systems currently under construction before October 2023. Three other projects in the pipeline would accelerate its overall portfolio to a total capacity of 500MW/1GWh.

"All stakeholders have recognized the importance of achieving energization for this project ahead of winter, and we would like to thank Tesla, G2 Energy, and Northern Powergrid for their efforts in delivering the project ahead of schedule despite a very challenging geopolitical and global supply chain environment," he added.

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