Field acquires 100 MW Holmston and Drum Farm battery sites in Scotland

Written By: The Field Team
Posted 23 Jan 2024
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  • Renewable energy infrastructure company Field completes transfer of battery storage assets from RES
  • The Holmston and Drum Farm energy storage systems have storage capacities of 100 MWh each, taking Field’s total pipeline in or near construction to 410 MWh
  • When operational, both batteries will bolster the UK’s energy security, help meet Scotland’s 2045 net zero target and contribute to lowering energy prices for the future

Renewable energy infrastructure company Field today announces the acquisition of Holmston and Drum Farm energy storage systems from RES.

Located in Ayr (South Ayrshire) and Keith (Moray) respectively, Holmston and Drum Farm have a combined capacity of 100 MW / 200 MWh. Once operational, both sites will contribute a range of services to the grid, including balancing electricity supply and demand across the grid, contributing to the UK’s efforts to decarbonise energy supply, and bolstering energy security by helping to utilise more of our renewable energy.

This transaction adds 200 MWh to the 210 MWh of battery sites planned to be brought online in the next couple of years.

Recognised as the UK’s largest renewables-producing country, Scotland currently lacks the transmission network infrastructure, such as high-voltage direct current cables, needed to transport surplus green power to areas of demand. Building more batteries to store excess supplies can connect electricity generated by renewables with consumers more efficiently, reducing the energy ‘wasted’ because it cannot be transported elsewhere, due to a lack of this infrastructure.

Holmston and Drum Farm will help plug this gap in network infrastructure, storing clean electricity when excess supplies are available and minimising the need for curtailment. A report by Carbon Tracker found that Britain wasted enough wind generation last year to power a million homes because of congestion and lack of flexibility in the grid - something that battery storage will help to solve, ultimately helping to lower energy bills and increase energy security.

Katie Marsh, Head of Corporate Development at Field said: “We’re delighted to have worked with RES and to add Field Holmston and Field Drum Farm to a healthy pipeline of renewable infrastructure projects. With vital grid reforms picking up pace, we will start to see more storage projects connected to the network to support the transition to a net zero electricity system.

“Energy storage is an essential part of this picture, especially in Scotland where so much cheaper, cleaner energy generation is curtailed each year. To take full advantage of the renewable capacity we have available and achieve net zero emissions in Scotland by 2045, we must invest in battery storage as part of the biggest transformation of infrastructure ever seen.”

Rebecca Meek, Development Director Energy Storage, UK&I at RES said: “To ensure consumers get the maximum benefit from the low-cost renewable energy being generated in the UK we need to deploy energy storage capacity, at pace, across our country. Holmston and Drum Farm are great examples of the dynamic energy sector we’re creating together to support our economy and the environment.

“We’re pleased to partner with Field for the first time, a company who share this vision, and look forward to seeing these projects operating for the benefit of consumers in the near future.”

Field’s batteries charge up when renewable energy output on the grid is high, to then discharge when the grid would otherwise have to turn on more carbon-intensive generation such as gas peaking plants. This means they are able to provide ‘firm’, backup power, during periods of lower renewable generation.

Field’s first battery storage site in Oldham (20 MWh) commenced operation in 2022. The battery storage company plans to bring a further 410 MWh of battery sites online over the next two years, including this acquisition, and has over 4.5 GWh of projects in development or in exclusivity with partners.