AXIS Secures Planning Consent for Zenobē’s World First 100MW Reactive Power Battery Project in Capenhurst

The project will be the world’s first battery to absorb reactive power directly from the grid, helping stabilise the system and enable further adoption of renewable power sources.

  • The 100MW battery will be the first contracted project in the world to absorb reactive power directly from a transmission network;
  • The largest battery in Europe when commissioned to connect on a transmission network at 275,000 volts;
  • The project is the first in England to receive planning permission under the revised planning regime allowing battery projects over 50MW to be approved locally;
  • Zenobē’s site will address power supply issues in the Mersey region with a reliable reactive power service, delivering clean and secure energy at a substantially lower cost to consumers;
  • Over the next 15 years, the project is forecast to remove 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 20,000 acres of mature forest (1,000,000 trees) or taking 216,044 diesel and petrol cars off the road;
  • The battery is due to be operational in April 2022 and accelerate the UK’s uptake of renewable energy.
Smaller Example of Battery Storage Site

Setting a precedent for future projects globally, this is a huge step for the UK as it focuses on building back greener and drives towards its net-zero by 2050 pledge. As the UK continues to adopt renewable power generation, managing voltage levels and ensuring reactive power management is vital. Over the next 15 years, the project is forecast to remove 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 20,000 acres of mature forest (1,000,000 trees) or taking 216,044 diesel and petrol cars off the road.

The Capenhurst project was commissioned as a direct response to the National Grid’s pathfinder programme, seeking to solve the challenge of reactive energy management through the use of innovative technology.

The project is also the first of its kind to be approved under the new revised planning regime. Designed to help bring sustainable solutions onto the grid, the change allows batteries larger than 50MW to be granted planning permission locally rather than by the national approval body.

Phillip Roden, Director at AXIS, said:

“This is a huge milestone not just for AXIS, but for the UK and its ambitions in the race to NetZero. Battery storage will play a major role in moving the UK from carbon intensive to emission free power. This is the reason why the UK government has identified energy  storage as one of the UK’s ‘Eight Great Technologies’.”

“AXIS specialists supplied a range of services to Zenobē from facilitating the planning application, to ensuring the design mitigates environmental effects, coordinating specialist environmental studies, and liaising with Zenobē and Cheshire West and Cheshire Council during determination. It’s fantastic this pioneering work has come to fruition and the North West is yet again leading the way to a more sustainable future.”

James Basden, Co-Founder and Director at Zenobē Energy, said:

“The Capenhurst project is a great example of the pioneering solutions businesses like ours can bring to the table when industry innovation is encouraged by up-to-date legislation.

“As we move to a cleaner energy system, batteries like this one will play a vital role in stabilising the grid and ultimately enabling a greener, more sustainable, Britain. We will look to replicate this solution nationwide, working with government and industry to stabilise the UK energy system, push energy prices down and ensure an emission-free future”.

Smaller Example of Battery Storage Site

Zenobē’s project will optimise the absorption of reactive power as well as operating the active power services concurrently. The design of the Capenhurst site has been specially crafted to ensure there is limited disruption to the local community. As part of the development, several habitat enhancement areas will also be built.

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