£25m UK battery project plans fast charging superhub

£25m UK battery project plans fast charging superhub

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The supplier for the 50MW lithium battery is currently being selected by Pivot Power, and the scheme is the first in a proposed network of 45 such hubs around the UK. 

The battery, housed in 25 containers, will be installed at the Nursling electricity substation at a cost of up to £25 million, which it expects to be operational by July 2019. It will be one of the UK’s biggest, storing enough electricity to supply nearly 6,000 average homes for a day from a single charge. The revenue from using the battery to smooth out fluctuations in the power grid will be used to build the EV superhub nearby, although this doesn’t yet have building permission.  

The superhub will offer rapid charging at competitive rates for up to 100 cars at the same time and will be capable of supporting the fastest chargers. It will also be able to support mass charging infrastructure for commercial fleets such as electric buses, taxis and vans. Decisions on the equipment suppliers will be determined by the mix of users.

Pivot Power has ambitious plans for a £1.6 billion (€2bn) network of batteries and hubs with 50MW batteries operational at 10 sites within 18 months and 45 within five years, says Matthew Boulton, Chief Operating Officer. This 2GW battery network would help National Grid manage supply and demand and accommodate the demands of mass EV charging and higher levels of renewable generation, he says.

The company has financial backing from Downing LLP, a UK-based investment manager which has funded over 100 deals into renewable energy investments since 2010 totalling more than £500 million. Pivot Power is already in talks with institutional and strategic investors, and potential partners, such as car manufacturers, charging providers, and technology and energy companies.

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