Whitelee Solar / Hydrogen / BESS

Location

The solar farm and Green Hydrogen Production Facility will be located about 5km west of Lochgoin Reservoir.

The BESS will be adjacent to the existing Whitelee Extension substation, within the boundary of Whitelee Extension Windfarm.

Current Stage

An application for Section 36 Consent under the Electricity Act 1989 is being prepared for a proposed combined Solar and Battery Energy Storage Scheme (BESS) with a proposed capacity of up to 70 Megawatts (MW). The application will be submitted to the Scottish Government Energy Consents Unit in Q1 2021.

An application to East Ayrshire Council under the Town and Country Planning Act for a Green Hydrogen Production Facility will also be submitted in Q1 2021.

Project History

Whitelee Windfarm is the UK's largest onshore windfarm. The site’s 215 turbines are capable of generating up to 539 megawatts (MW) of cleaner greener power.

ScottishPower Renewables aims to install 1.5gigawatts (GW) of energy storage technology by 2030; as we install more renewable generation on the network, we need to ensure that we can keep the electricity grid stable and secure during periods where the energy produced by renewable sources doesn’t match the demand. There is currently a BESS under construction at Whitelee (Whitelee BESS), which is in addition to the BESS proposed as part of Whitelee Solar/Hydrogen/BESS.

We anticipate that demand for Green Hydrogen will increase over the next few years. Producing Green Hydrogen (i.e. Green Hydrogen produced using only renewable resources) requires a lot of electricity; as Whitelee already has a high level of renewable generation production and a lot of existing infrastructure, it is a good location for development of a Green Hydrogen Production and Storage Facility.

A screening request was submitted to the Energy Consents Unit in October 2020, and we await confirmation on whether the site requires an EIA.

Project Description

The solar farm to the north of the site will provide 20MW of renewable solar generation across 62,000 individual solar cells, which will power the Green Hydrogen Production Facility.

This Facility will use electrolysis to create hydrogen using water and will allow us to produce up to 10 tonnes of Green Hydrogen per day. We anticipate that this hydrogen will be used to fuel public transport and heavy freight vehicles as diesel engines are phased out over the next few years. Hydrogen provides greater energy density than a battery of the same size, so is better for vehicles where a lot of power or a long driving range is required as a battery capable of powering these vehicles would be prohibitively heavy and large.

As part of Whitelee Solar/Hydrogen/BESS we will be installing a 50MW BESS to support the solar farm and Green Hydrogen Production Facility.

Connecting the Solar and Green Hydrogen Production to the BESS allows us to fully utilise the electricity generated by the solar panels and generate enough fully renewable Green Hydrogen to satisfy demand. By co-locating this BESS at an existing site, we can take advantage of existing infrastructure, ensure that our generation is as efficient as possible, and maximise the amount of clean, renewable electricity available on the Grid.

Consultation

Early consultation is key to the way SPR develops projects, and throughout the process SPR ensure local communities and stakeholders are given the opportunity to provide feedback and are kept informed of project progress. We are proactively engaging with local residents, representatives, and community councils.

A Public Information Event was launched on 11 December 2020, and concluded 19 December 2020. Please see link below. 

Contact

You can contact the project team by emailing WhiteleeSolarHydrogenBESS@ScottishPower.com

Project Documents

Please click on the links below to view documents associated with Whitelee Solar/Hydrogen/BESS.

 

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