UK-based energy infrastructure development company Carlton Power has secured planning permission for what is being touted as the world’s largest battery energy storage system (BESS).
The project, which has a capacity of 1 GW, will be located at the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park in Greater Manchester. Valued at $967.6 million, the BESS is expected to become operational in the final quarter of 2025.
The approval for the project was granted by Trafford Council, the local planning authority. Once operational, the Trafford facility will participate in the UK energy market, providing grid balancing services and offering reserve and ancillary services to the electricity grid.
It will also have the capability to capture multiple income streams, making it a significant asset for the region’s energy infrastructure.
From Coal Plant to Tech Oasis
Carlton Power is developing the project in several blocks, presenting an opportunity for investors to engage in large-scale 250 MW projects that are already at an advanced stage of development.
The company’s founder and chief executive, Keith Clarke, highlighted the broader significance of the project. He noted that the approval of the BESS brings the total investment value of the Trafford site to $2.6 billion, demonstrating Carlton Power’s commitment to re-energizing the area for sustainable energy projects.
The Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park, where the BESS will be located, was previously the site of an old coal-fired power station. This transformation showcases the shift from fossil fuels to clean energy technologies.
In addition to the BESS, Carlton Power is developing other major energy projects at the site, including the Trafford Green Hydrogen scheme with a capacity of 200 MW.
Councillor Tom Ross, the leader of Trafford Council, praised the project’s contribution to the region’s environmental goals. He highlighted that the BESS, along with other initiatives like the Trafford Green Hydrogen scheme, positions Trafford and Greater Manchester at the forefront of the UK’s energy transition.
These projects align with the region’s plan to achieve a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2038.
The approval of the BESS is subject to a final investment decision, and construction is anticipated to commence in the first quarter of the next year. Carlton Power is currently engaged in advanced discussions with potential partners to finance, build, and operate the system.
The project not only contributes to the UK’s renewable energy goals but also signifies a significant step towards repurposing former coal power plant sites for innovative and sustainable energy solutions.