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Roof top solar farm for battery development centre

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Construction has commenced on an innovative project on the roof of the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), which will see a completed solar farm by the end of 2024.

UKBIC is the UK’s national manufacturing battery development facility, providing battery manufacturing scale-up and skills for the battery sector. The pioneering facility is a key part of the UK Government funded Faraday Battery Challenge, which delivered by Innovate UK on behalf of UK Research and Innovation, has the aim of building a high-tech, high-value, high-skill battery industry in the UK.

The new installation is set to revolutionise the way it generates energy and once fully operational it will be capable of generating a peak output of 2.8MW of clean, renewable electricity.

In addition, the project will see the development of two 2MWh Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) which will give the facility greater flexibility over when it uses energy, allowing solar energy generated throughout the day to be used overnight. 

Funding for the solar farm is being provided by UK Research and Innovation, via the Faraday Battery Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK. The FBC is a £610m investment programme which supports world-class scientific technology development and manufacturing scale-up capability for batteries in the UK.

Sean Gilgunn, UKBIC’s Managing Director, pictured above (left) with Vital Energi’s Regional Manager for Solar, Simon Jones, said:

“The installation of a solar farm on our roof will be fantastic for UKBIC. This latest investment from UKRI will help us to reduce our carbon intensity and demonstrate good industry practice by making the battery industry greener. The initiative will help to reduce our energy bills and help towards the UK’s goal of achieving net zero by 2050.”

Simon Jones added,

“It’s only right that a world leader in battery development should harness the latest technology and UKBIC are making a significant investment in their green energy future.

“This project will not only substantially drive down their carbon emissions but will also deliver long-term energy savings and bring stability to their energy costs.
UKBIC’s size means that their roof is a fantastic resource which can be used to house almost 5,000 solar panels across the roof space of its 18,500m2 facility, generating a peak output of 2.8MW, and will be a fantastic technical achievement once completed.”

Once fully operational, the new Vital Energi installation will significantly help to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint by 555,000kg per year.

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