Battery power plant planned alongside M6 at Great Barr

A battery storage plant is to be built close to the M6, part of a drive to power transport, homes and businesses with greener energy.

The plants are planned to enable mass-scale, rapid electric vehicle charging
The plants are planned to enable mass-scale, rapid electric vehicle charging

Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, will build the new grid-scale battery storage plant in Sandwell. It will also build another one in Coventry.

The projects will collectively provide 100 to 200megwatt hours of battery storage – enough to power more than 200,000 homes for two hours.

The Sandwell site is close to junction seven of the M6, where the M5 and A34 meet at Great Barr. The company says the site will be well screened and will have minimal visibility from public viewpoints.

Construction of the battery storage systems is due to commence at Sandwell in the final three months of this year.

It is the latest phase of Pivot Power’s nationwide rollout of 'Energy Superhubs'. They are designed to deliver up to two gigawatts of transmission-connected battery storage and high-volume power connections to support more renewables and create the power infrastructure for mass-scale, rapid electric vehicle charging.

EDF's partner, Wartsila, will supply the cutting-edge battery technology for both West Midlands projects.

Battery storage is crucial to meet the Government’s 2050 net zero climate change targets and Pivot Power’s network could provide almost 10 per cent of the battery storage it is predicted the UK will need by 2050.

Matt Allen, chief executive of Pivot Power, said: “This is the next step in our nationwide rollout of Energy Superhubs which will create the low carbon infrastructure needed to support the EV and renewable energy revolution. As part of EDF Renewables, Pivot Power’s purpose is to accelerate a net zero future where clean energy powers our lives. We are working hand in hand with local authorities to help them meet their climate and clean air pledges, so people can live and work in cleaner, more sustainable cities.”

At both sites the battery storage systems will share their connection to the high-voltage electricity transmission network with a high-volume power connection, which will deliver large amounts of power for rapid EV charging to strategic locations in the local area, from public charging hubs to bus depots and commercial fleets.

Councillor Steve Melia, West Bromwich town lead at Sandwell Council, said: ‘Sandwell is one of the first communities to benefit from the unique infrastructure investment that this project brings.

"Pivot Power’s Energy Superhub will not only ensure that more of our power comes from clean, sustainable sources but will also help to power ultra-fast public EV charging hubs in the Sandwell area, supporting our strategy to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and create sustainable jobs and economic growth.

"The site is at the heart of the English motorway network. As such, there are many hotels, bus garages and service stations nearby which are ideally situated to make use of this facility.”

Pivot Power’s Energy Superhubs are all located alongside National Grid substations and have been selected for proximity to major road networks and urban populations.

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