Planning for Carlton Power’s major £750m battery storage project in Manchester given green light

Article by Kerry Hebden

PLANNING permission for Carlton Power’s major £750m (US$953m) battery storage project that will support Greater Manchester’s net zero 2038 target, and the UK’s net zero 2050 target, has been given the green light by the local planning authority. 

Dubbed the "the world's largest" by Carlton, the 1 GW Trafford battery energy storage system (BESS) project is being developed in several blocks, “providing an opportunity to invest in large-scale, 250 MW projects, at an advanced stage of development” Carlton said.  

The firm said it is in advanced talks with companies to finance, build and operate the Trafford BESS, and subject to a final investment decision, its construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024, with commercial operation beginning in the final quarter of 2025.   

The project, which will use lithium-ion battery technology, will be built at the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park, a site acquired by Carlton in 2008, and the location of a former coal fired power station.  

When completed, it will connect to the National Grid’s transmission system at 400 kV with the potential to expand the site with further phases. However, Carlton is offering to sell 100% of the project company, with a long-term lease for the site at the energy park.  

The park will also be home to Highview Power’s commercial liquid air storage system, known as the CRYOBattery. Highview said its £250m 50 MW/250 MWh cryogenic energy storage system, which uses liquid air as the storage medium, is equivalent in performance to, and could potentially replace, a fossil fuel power station. It also has a small footprint, even at multiple gigawatt-levels, does not use hazardous materials, and can be located anywhere, the firm said. 

Green hydrogen scheme

Along with Trafford BESS, Carlton Power is also building a 200 MW green hydrogen scheme at the same site. Like the battery, the scheme’s first phase (15-20 MW) is also set to enter commercial operation in Q4 2025.   

This is one of four green hydrogen projects Carlton is currently developing; the others are: Barrow green hydrogen in Cumbria, Langage green hydrogen in the south west, and Stirling Green in Scotland. 

Three have been shortlisted to receive funding from the UK Department for Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ) as part of the government’s Hydrogen Business Model / Net Zero Hydrogen Fund.  

The government said it is hoping to support at least 250 MW via the first allocation round, and overall the UK is aiming to develop up to 10 GW of hydrogen production by 2030, with at least half from electrolysis, subject to affordability and value for money. 

Chris McKerrow, head of Carlton Power’s European BESS development said: “Our BESS scheme will make a significant contribution to the resilience of the North West’s energy system and, combined with our green hydrogen scheme and the cryobattery project, underlines Trafford Park’s importance to the energy transition in the region and the journey towards Net Zero. 

“Trafford Council and other local organisations, like the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, recognise the importance of the BESS and the green hydrogen scheme to the energy transition, to inward investment and to the regeneration of land, much of it vacant for over 20 years.” 

Article by Kerry Hebden

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

Recent Editions

Catch up on the latest news, views and jobs from The Chemical Engineer. Below are the four latest issues. View a wider selection of the archive from within the Magazine section of this site.