United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Hybrid projects to 'become the new norm'

Developer-utility ScottishPower has submitted permit applications to add solar power capacity to existing wind projects in the UK, which its CEO says will become increasingly common in the early 2020s.

ScottishPower CEO Keith Anderson wants to 'squeeze' as much green electricity from projects as possible
ScottishPower CEO Keith Anderson wants to 'squeeze' as much green electricity from projects as possible

The Iberdrola subsidiary has applied to add the solar capacity to three onshore wind projects so far and intends to develop similar sites in Scotland and Ireland.

The firm also wants to add battery storage or solar (or both) capacity to the 100MW of onshore wind capacity it is already developing in the UK.

Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower, said the new company strategy was an attempt to "[squeeze] the absolute maximum potential out of every clean energy project that we consider".

Speaking at the CO25 climate talks in Madrid, Anderson added the "perfect blend" of onshore renewables should include a mix of technologies.

"The costs for building wind, solar and batteries have reduced considerably in recent years, and they complement each other very well. They perform best at different times of the day and at different times of the year," Anderson said.

"As well as retrofitting additional technologies to existing sites, as we are already doing, our strategy will see us deliver hybrid projects as standard. In the next 18 months I believe that hybrids will be the new normal for all renewable energy developers," he added.

SPR was awarded a permit to add a 50MW battery to its 539MW Whitelee onshore wind project in June. The site — the UK’s biggest onshore wind development — will be able to provide grid services when completed by the end of 2020.

There are several wind projects in the UK already operating with battery storage.

Vattenfall’s 228MW Pen y Cymoedd onshore wind project in Wales has a 22MW battery, while Equinor attached a 1MW/1.3MWh battery to its 30MW Hywind Scotland floating offshore wind project.

Ørsted added a 2MW battery element to its Burbo Bank offshore wind project in northwest England.

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