The change of planning laws two years ago allowed developers of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) above the 50MW threshold to apply for consent from local planning authorities instead of having to seek a development consent order (DCO) through the national infrastructure regime. This has made the process of acquiring planning permissions easier and has eventually resulted in a rise in the number and capacity of BESS projects.
RenewableUK’s report, published in April this year, showed that there is 1.6GW of operational battery storage capacity in the UK, 45% more than last year. BESS projects in the pipeline as of April were 32.1GW compared to 16.1GW last year.
At Wilson Power Solutions, we have seen a significant rise in demand for special designed transformers from utility-scale BESS projects all over the country. These projects often have multiple transformers on site connecting one transformer to one or two battery packs to improve resilience. The transformers are often connected to the local DNO grid through a power transformer.
One of the projects we supplied transformers for is a 98MW BESS project in Yorkshire that was constructed in two phases. We supplied the site with 40x 2.8MVA Tier 2 compliant distribution transformers with a 33kV/480V voltage ratio and all the required ancillaries.
Utility-scale BESS are essential to support the transition toward lower carbon electricity produced from renewable energy sources. BESS can store electricity when there is a surplus and release it when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining but most importantly, it can play a major role in balancing the grid. All the energy that is being imported from or exported to the grid runs through transformers. Wilson Power Solutions have created a range of Large Distribution Transformers that are custom designed and built to fit different BESS project specifications.
As a result of our work within the BESS sector and other sectors like Solar PV and EV charging, we have been shortlisted for the 2022 Solar & Storage Live Awards under the Networks and Connections Category.