U.K.’s New Rules Set Stage for Europe’s Largest Batteries

This article first appeared on the BNEF mobile app and the Bloomberg Terminal.

  • New rules support batteries above 50 megawatts in the U.K.
  • Planning process shortened from 1-2 years to 2-4 months

New rules will relax planning requirements for batteries of more than 50 megawatts (MW) in the U.K., Europe’s largest utility-scale battery storage market. New record-sized batteries will likely be launched in the next year or two as a result. Currently, several 50MW batteries in the U.K. jointly hold the European record for the largest battery.

The new rules allow projects to receive planning permission in two to four months under local planning laws, rather than in one to two years under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) regime.

Despite the lengthy NSIP process, developers Drax Group, Statera, RWE, ScottishPower and Hive Energy were already planning batteries above 50MW. Other developers like Penso Power planned to avoid the process by building multiple batteries below the 50MW threshold at the same site.

The changes apply to new projects and expansion plans for existing ones. Projects already put forward under the NSIP regime will still receive permission as before unless the application is withdrawn.

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