Equinor confirms the construction of its first commercial battery storage asset

Source: press release, 3 October 2022

Equinor in the UK (illustration: Equinor)
Equinor in the UK (illustration: Equinor)

Equinor has approved final investment decision on the Blandford Road battery storage project in the south of the UK.

This will be the first commercial battery storage asset for Equinor, and the first project realised from the strategic partnership between Equinor and Noriker Power.

“Equinor aims to create a profitable renewables business by integrating battery storage assets in our portfolio in selected power markets. During the last 10 months we invested in two leading battery storage development companies, Noriker Power in the UK, and East Point Energy in the US. Today we took the next step and sanctioned our first commercial battery storage project”, says Olav Kolbeinstveit, senior vice president for power and markets within Renewables at Equinor.

Equinor acquired a 45% ownership share in Noriker Power Limited in December 2021. In addition to the equity investment, Equinor and Noriker have a strategic cooperation framework that grants Equinor the opportunity to directly participate in projects developed by Noriker. Blandford Road is the first project from Noriker’s pipeline that has been matured to an investment decision.

In the recently published British Energy Security Strategy, the UK Government announced an ambition of 95% of electricity by 2030 being low carbon. To deliver the Government’s ambitions for cleaner and more affordable electricity, development of storage infrastructure in the UK is critical. As the UK increases its share of renewable power, battery storage will help to solve the intermittency challenge and aid in the security of supply.

“Our ownership position in Noriker gives us a platform to build an energy storage portfolio in the UK. We expect to sanction up to three battery storage projects in the country during the next 6-9 months. A portfolio of flexible storage assets will broaden and diversify Equinor’s energy offerings in the UK and strengthen our role as a reliable supplier of energy”, says Ingrid Fossgard-Moser, vice president for energy storage development within Renewables at Equinor.

The Blandford Road project is a 25 MW/50 MWh battery storage asset located in Dorset in southern England. The project will incorporate CATL lithium-ion battery racks and connect to the SSE distribution network providing capability to manage power intermittency, balance supply and demand and deliver grid services to SSE and National Grid.

To realise the project Grupotec Renewable Limited has been appointed to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), while Noriker will manage and develop the project for Equinor.

“We are really pleased to mark this important milestone in our partnership with Equinor. Our approach to technical integration and taking a full life-cycle view when developing and operating projects, will allow Equinor to truly optimise value as a long-term asset owner,” says Marc Thomas, managing director of Noriker Power.

The project will start construction in January 2023 and is expected to be operational in Q3 of the same year.