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energy park Shaftesbury
How the planned energy park would look.

A new type of ‘green’ power storage plant pumping out up to 200MWh of energy should be operating on a site beside the Gillingham to Shaftesbury Road within the next two years, writes Richard Thomas.

This is if French renewable energy specialists TAG Energy get their way.

TAG Energy is hoping to apply for planning permission for what it’s calling Shaftesbury Energy Park from Dorset Council ‘by the end of the summer’ and expect it to be fully operational by the end of 2024.

The power storage plant of the future is Lisbon-based TAG Energy’s first UK project. It already has projects in France, Spain and Australia.

If planning permission is granted, the Shaftesbury park will consist of some 68 giant Tesla megapack batteries (see image above) that store energy, much of it generated by solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.

This allows energy generation to be ‘evened out’ so that power is not lost during periods of low energy production. The park will be able to deliver 100 megawatts of electricity for two hours.

TAG Energy has chosen the 1.8-hectare site at Hawkers Hill Farm on the northern edge of Shaftesbury because it is immediately next to SSE’s existing electricity substation which means surplus power can be fed directly back into the National Grid – particularly at times of peak demand.

A smaller battery storage site at Hawkers Hill Farm next to the SSE substation is already under construction.

TAG Energy claims its storage units are almost silent and the site will be subject to landscaping to reduce any visual impact.

The site is now the subject of a biodiversity study and Dorset Council are insisting on seeing the results of that study before they will allow an application to be submitted.

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1 Comment

  1. 29 July 2022 at 12:46 pm — Reply

    From Marine Folliet, TAG Energy:

    The battery project will be connected to the local electricity distribution network (SSE), it won’t be connected directly to a renewable energy source.

    Therefore, when the battery will import electricity to store it, it will be similar to when you use electricity at home. The electrons will be coming from the distribution network which is itself connected to the nationwide electricity transmission network. It is almost impossible to exactly track where will these electrons be coming from at each instant given electricity generators all over the country are injecting electrons at the same time in this “pool” that is the electricity network.

    Whilst we don’t know from which exact source will the electricity be coming from, we know how much electricity is generated by each source in the whole system at a given time. This is what we call the “electricity mix”.
    The typical behavior of the battery will be to import at times where there is a high share of renewables in the electricity mix, and as such we can assume that the battery electricity will be mainly coming from renewable electricity sources.

    This is because the battery imports when electricity prices are low which is often when there is a high share of renewables in the electricity mix because (a) their marginal cost of production is very low, and (b) we can’t control their production which means that they can end up as a surplus on the electricity system.

    Conversely, the battery will be exporting electricity when electricity prices are high which is often when there is a high share of fossil fuels power plants in the electricity mix because of their high marginal cost of production (driven by coal, gas and carbon prices). By generating at this time, the battery will be replacing some of the gas and coal generation thus driving down electricity prices and the carbon intensity of the electricity mix.

    Furthermore, while exporting electricity, the battery will provide ancillary services to the system which are usually provided by fossil fuels plants. This will also contribute to decrease the carbon intensity of the UK electricity mix.

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