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Energy / Another battery system proposed in Lerwick as part of SSE tender process

Lerwick power station is due to cease full operations in 2025.

ANOTHER battery storage system is being proposed for Lerwick which would enable Shetland to keep its lights on in the event of an outage with the planned HVDC transmission link.

Zenobe’s proposal, on land adjacent to Lower Blackhill Industrial Estate, would consist of battery storage containers and various pieces of associated infrastructure.

It follows a similar proposal from Statkraft through its Greener Grid Park proposal, which could be located in the same area.

SSE is currently running a procurement process for a “Shetland standby” solution any time when the transmission link – which will connect the isles to the national grid – goes out of service, such as through maintenance or an unexpected fault.

Lerwick Power Station will be put into standby mode after the interconnector goes live in 2024, but a solution is being sought to keep Shetland’s electricity running when the power station is being prepared for use.

It is estimated that it could take between 30 and 60 minutes for the power station to be generating electricity.

The transmission link, which is currently under construction, will enable the Viking Energy wind farm to export power to the national grid.

SSE is looking for a supplier to provide standby equipment for a period of ten years from November 2024.

The tender documents state that power demand in Shetland varies throughout the day and throughout the year.

The existing minimum demand is 11MW and the maximum demand is 45MW. Demand is forecast to grow to over 60MW in order to meet net zero targets by 2050.

The capacity of Zenobe’s proposal would be over 50MW, therefore consent would have to come from the Scottish Government’s energy consents unit.

The energy developer has submitted a screening request to Shetland Islands Council for its battery energy storage system proposal to provide details of potential environmental effects.

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It is intended to assist Scottish ministers in considering whether there are any potential effects that would trigger a requirement for undertaking an environmental impact assessment.

A spokesperson for SSE said “similar planning applications are being submitted by more than one party, with a view to expediting the overall process should their particular procurement bid be successful”.

Both the Statkraft and Zenobe proposals would be located next to an SSE grid supply point – a vital piece of equipment for Shetland’s energy supply once the transmission link goes live.

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