Back up power for your community

Roosecote

Introducing the Roosecote battery storage facility

We are delighted to confirm that work is set to start on the construction of our new battery storage facility at the site of the former Roosecote power station in Barrow, Cumbria.

Construction of the 49MW facility was confirmed in December 2016 as part of a £180m investment programme into new flexible power plants across the country.

The facility, which will be one of the largest in the world, has been designed to help keep the local distribution network stable by either absorbing power from the system (charging the batteries) or supplying it to the grid (discharging the batteries). Once complete, it will be capable of responding to fluctuations in demand in under a second, holding enough power to meet the needs of around 50,000 homes – more than all the homes in Barrow combined.

We are now working with our contractors at Younicos and Morrison Utility Services as they prepare to start work on the project, which is expected to take around 20 months.

Our new battery storage plant will have enough power for 50,000 homes

Barrow Big Battery

I’m absolutely delighted to be in a position to start breathing life back into the old Roosecote site. This is a great opportunity for the region to be at the forefront of a new era for the energy industry as we bring in the very best in terms of state-of-the-art battery technology to help ensure stability of supply for local homes and businesses.
- Mark Futyan, Merchant Power Director of Centrica’s Distributed Energy & Power business

The changing face of Roosecote

Originally home to a coal-fired power station, the Roosecote site has played an important part in the North-West’s energy landscape for over 70 years.

The 120MW coal-fired plant started generating electricity in 1954 as part of a wave of new power stations to be built from the late 1940s into the early 1950s. After over 30 years operation, the plant closed in November 1986 only to be transformed into a 225MW gas-fired power station housed within the old turbine hall four years later. Fuelled by gas from Morecambe Bay, Roosecote was the first power station in the country to use combined cycle gas turbine technology, recognised for its high efficiency compared to the older, dirtier coal plants.

Centrica bought Roosecote and its surrounding land in 2003, and later put forward proposals to develop a biomass plant at the site. These plans were withdrawn following a change in government policy, and poor market conditions eventually forced the site to be mothballed in 2012. The power station was demolished in January 2015, leaving the once thriving site redundant.

The new battery storage facility will be built on a small plot of land of around half a hectare at the southern end of the power station site. 

The map below shows the layout of the old site and the area where we plan to develop the new plant

Roosecote aerial map

 

Some questions you may have:

What exactly is it that you are building?

The new facility is being built on a plot of land to the south of the old Roosecote power station site and will be accessed by the existing road to the east. The single-storey building will contain advanced batteries, similar to those used in domestic appliances such as hand held vacuum cleaners, laptops and drills, stacked together like computer servers.

Roosecote storage diagramThe above diagram gives an indicative example of what the battery building would look like and how it would work.

Why here?

The Roosecote project forms part of a £180m investment programme that we’re making into new flexible power facilities across the country. These sites have all been designed to help respond to peaks in demand, a feature that is becoming increasingly important as more power stations close and more wind and solar farms come on line. The Roosecote site is a good choice for a project like this as it already has connections to the electricity grid. 

What happened to your proposals for a new gas plant at the site?

We were granted planning permission for the new gas-fired plant last summer; however we have taken the decision to focus on the battery project at this stage. We still believe the gas plant is a great option to make further use of the site

Will there be a lot of traffic during construction?

Some construction traffic will be inevitable during the construction; however we will be limiting activity on site to 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, and 7am to 1pm on Saturdays. Any exceptions to this will first be agreed with the council. Likewise, in the event of any large items needing to be delivered to the site, such as the transformer, our contractors will work with the local council and police to ensure minimum disruption. 

What job opportunities will there be?

The facility has been designed to be operated remotely and will only require occasional maintenance visits, so we won’t be employing anyone to work at the site once it’s built. We will, however, have a team of (up to 100) during construction and will be encouraging our contractors to use local people and suppliers where possible.    

 

 

GET IN TOUCH

If you have any questions, please feel free to send an email to yoursay@centrica.com 

If you have any concerns relating to activity on site, please contact our Project Manager, Chris Read on 07769 544692.