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A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

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Discussion > Battery Farming (not chickens)

If you've spotted a 49.99 MW battery application locally - drop it in below - ta.

I notice the url returned is dynamic - doesn't persist

A Wiltshire search with 49.99 entered as a keyword finds them.... there's some 10MW ones as well.... has the subsidy regime changed - it all looks pretty fishy.

Apr 29, 2018 at 11:21 PM | Registered Commentertomo

tomo, if it is not a subsidy issue, it may be linked to Planning Law/Constraints. As you note that some smaller batteries are also proposed, it may be about establishing some Planning precedent regarding what can get Planning Approval without too much aggravation. Ask a Planner?

They have all those windmills perched on top of empty towers, that are already connected to the National Grid. There must be room inside for big batteries, PLUS diesel generators and fuel storage .......

Apr 30, 2018 at 12:40 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


I doubt that it's linked to planning rules.

It must be akin to ye olde winmill trick of mis-declaring the machine output to get a preferentially better tariff level for some arbitrary sized output (they can't even describe the output in correct tech terms anyway...) that some BEIS "energy economists" declared as the sort of thing they want to encourage....

There's simply got to be some weaselly stuff going on - like the double dip subsidy tariff for using renewable leccy on site rather than exporting it... Not that it's easy to figure out as the rules are positively Byzantine and the supposed operators of the ofgem database where all the records are reputedly kept - are chimps.

Apr 30, 2018 at 2:18 AM | Registered Commentertomo

tomo, I am intrigued!

“The technology and deployment patterns for battery storage and solar PV are similar, and this report is intended to drive big thinking and put the UK on the front foot, rather than react after-the-fact.

“Key recent changes, such as Ofgem’s ‘embedded benefits’ decision to reduce payments to smaller, decentralised power generators in addition to any potential future levies that might be imposed on decentralised generation in homes and businesses, could reduce the pace of future deployment.”

The officers of the APPG on Energy Storage are Dr Alan Whitehead MP (Labour), John McNally MP (SNP), Lord Teverson (Lib Dem), Hywel Williams MP (Plaid Cymru), and Alan Brown MP (SNP)."

The there is this?

Apr 30, 2018 at 8:19 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


Looks like more Peculation Pullman gravy train rolling stock is being fettled up.

Swindon Borough Council have set up a company to build a municipal battery in Swindon with Councillors on the board ....

A "50MW" battery this time.... it seems that "50MW" is the threshold where central government gets to impose a scheme over the local planners - so that 0.01MW under is a heavy hint to the local planners to pass without looking very closely as they'll just add a few more batteries and take it out of the council planning dept's remit via the leaden quango that is The National Infrastructure Commission.

I'm still wondering if this initiative is being replicated across the country ....

I'd love to scope out the financial environment for the operation - there's got to have been a change that's triggered this build-out.

Apr 30, 2018 at 1:46 PM | Registered Commentertomo

tomo, there is also the option of increasing the scope of any Planning Permission once it has been granted, before during or after the original permitted development has been completed.

Mission creep, meet Planning creep?

I do not see there is anything wrong with a Local Authority benefitting from a genuine opportunity that WILL benefit their local community, if all accounts are open for inspection, and Councillors and Council employees are not profiting, especially as a result of their creation of preferential market forces. Hopefully Local Councils can consider the benefits of fracking developments?

Apr 30, 2018 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

tomo, from your link:

"Swindon Borough Council’s sustainable energy company has submitted plans for a 50MW energy storage battery in the latest energy project to be planned by the local authority subsidiary.

Public Power Solutions (PPS), established in 2010 and refocused on to sustainable energy solutions and waste treatment three years later, submitted documents on 10 November pertaining to the proposed project at the former Mannington Depot.

Unlike previous projects put together by PPS, such as the first solar farms to be funded through a local authority bond offer, if approved the battery storage scheme will be developed for sale. This will potentially put one of the largest projects of its kind in the UK up for grabs, with a spokesperson for PPS telling Solar Power Portal that the company and Swindon Borough Council will make a decision about how to proceed further with the project when planning consent has been granted."

Are accounts or records available for "previous projects put together by PPS" ?

Apr 30, 2018 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


the odds on a local council managing a commercial enterprise successfully are pretty long.... some 20 odd years ago a cabal of officials and bent councillors pillaged West Wiltshire's computer software department for in excess of £2.5 million - and by and large got away with it / dragged it out / bored the public over a 2 year investigation.

I'll go have a look at some stage - but if it's a Community Interest Company - I'd call foul.... London - Camden Council's hydrogen generator £200k splurge for a few virtue signalling summer fete demos is still fresh in my mind and Bristol's hydrogen ferry too.

Since it'll all be computer controlled they should be able to put a web page up with live info on the success or otherwise of the enterprise - I'd wager that will NOT happen.

Apr 30, 2018 at 2:55 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Start here:

And remember the Big South Australian Battery that Musk installed. This market is in a flux at the moment, as the rules are under review. Perhaps some have insight as to how the new rules may look.

Apr 30, 2018 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Apr 30, 2018 at 2:55 PM | tomo

Cynicism duly noted, and shared!

"Working in Partnership with Greater Swindling Borough Council" is another National Key Performance Indicator of bad times ahead for those that pay the bills.

Apr 30, 2018 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

IDAU thanks for that - appreciated.

I had a fairly close look at the operation stats sliced in different ways for Musk's uninterruptable power supply. I came away unconvinced (but not completely dismissive) that it might actually be a durable remedy for the ills that it presumes to cure - the possibility of introducing/inducing capacity market instability is something that might well trigger unintended consequences....

The relationship of the big battery to the grid looks to be considerably more complicated than the simplistic blatherings of the boosters.

Meanwhile low level PR continues in Wiltshire with a roll out of yellow roadside signs to "The Battery Storage Facility"

Apr 30, 2018 at 7:12 PM | Registered Commentertomo

tomo, how big a power supply do they need to charge the batteries, and is there any guarantee or suggestion in the promotional blurb that only unreliable electricty will be used in this vain attempt to make power supplies reliable?

IF this is being used to set some form of precedent in Planning, it would be useful if it was based on an honest presentation of facts.

Apr 30, 2018 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


As far as I know the 49.99 figure is down to the National Grid requirement of 50MW maximum power for enhanced frequency response. It would seem Wiltshire and Swindon councils are not satisfied with just council tax, they want the subsidy tax as well.

May 1, 2018 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Porter

From IDAU's National Grid link

The EFR program is a response to instability caused by windmills and solar panels - by throwing more money at renewables... and looks to have precious little to do with real electricity utility ... They are looking at tripling the battery provision ...

Much data there looks out of date and many links in the documents are broken - in fact the main page returns a 404 error. The documents are quite sloppily put together too - The Frequency Response Market Information Report from 2016 has an internal PDF title of "STOR Market Information Report"

Looks rather chaotic and there's some curious "technical" language bobbing around - some of which seems to sprout from lawyer's understanding of power electrics rather than an engineer....

Allowing lawyers to drive electricity engineering projects ... makes me think about installing a little gas powered CHP set....

May 2, 2018 at 3:52 AM | Registered Commentertomo