Renowned developer to bring batteries to Bathgate

Gordon Thomson, Head of Projects at Banks Renewables

A SOUTH LANARKSHIRE renewables firm is charged up having announced plans to build an ambitious battery storage project in West Lothian.

Banks Renewables is expecting to invest over £100m into developing Pond Energy Park, which will see a section of an industrial park near Bathgate re-designed into a two-hectare battery site.

Expected to be submitted for planning permission later this year, Pond Battery Storage will have an export capacity of 200 megawatts over two hours. When fully charged, this project will be enough to supply the average demands of 600,000 homes for that two hour period – more homes than Edinburgh and Glasgow combined.

The new site is set to deliver opportunities for local businesses in areas like construction, groundworks, civils and remediation; with Banks’ flagship ‘Connect2Renewables’ initiative prioritising local businesses as much as possible when awarding contracts on their sites.

The responsible developer is renowned for its onshore wind projects in South Lanarkshire – including the construction of the UK’s tallest and most efficient onshore wind turbines at its Kype Muir Extension site near Strathaven.

Gordon Thomson, projects director at Banks Renewables said: “The proposed Pond Battery Storage project in West Lothian marks a very exciting time for us here at Banks Renewables.

“Battery storage projects like this are becoming increasingly important in Scotland’s push for net zero. When it’s not sunny or windy, battery energy storage can allow us to dip into the reserves by using pre-generated energy in the batteries to supply to the national grid and reducing our reliance on energy derived from imported fossil fuels.”

The first in-person consultation events will occur on 12 October 2023, from 2pm – 7pm, at the Jim Walker Partnership Centre in Bathgate. Here, members of the community will be invited to give their thoughts, help shape the proposals and highlight key local priorities which could be addressed using community benefits.

Battery storage, or battery energy storage systems (BESS), are devices that store and enable energy from renewables, like solar and wind farms. Natural fluctuations in weather conditions mean that renewable electricity generation can often be out of step with demand and batteries can address this by storing surplus generation when demand is low and releasing it when demand is higher – maximising the efficiency of renewable energy. Batteries are set to play a huge role in the country’s push for net zero, reducing the reliance on large fossil fuelled power stations.

If approved, the site will be based at Pond Industrial Estate on Whitburn Road to the south-east of Bathgate.

Gordon added: “The project is in its very early stages but, as always, we’re committed to listening the local community’s views and ideas as we develop our planning application so that we can maximise the benefits of the project for everyone concerned.

“Pond battery storage would add another arm to our renewable portfolio, helping to support Scotland on its journey towards a net zero transition. With this, and other positive projects in the pipeline, we’re certainly going through an exciting time at Banks Renewables.”

Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group and has currently secured planning permission for fourteen wind farms with seven currently in operation across Scotland.

Banks Renewables’ is a renowned responsible renewables developer, committed to its ‘development with care’ approach, in which the family firm aims to maximise the economic, social, and environmental benefits of its projects.

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