Planning permission granted for world’s largest battery energy storage scheme

Planning permission has been granted for the world’s largest battery energy storage scheme (BESS), a 1GW (1040MW/2080MWh) project located at the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park in Greater Manchester.

Infrastructure at Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park
Infrastructure at Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park - Carlton Energy

Planning permission for Carlton Power’s £750m BESS was granted by Trafford Council.

Subject to a final investment decision, construction of the battery storage scheme is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024. Commercial operations are expected to start in the final quarter of 2025.  Carlton Power said it is in advanced talks with companies to finance, build and operate the Trafford BESS.

The Trafford BESS joins Carlton’s 200MW Trafford Green Hydrogen scheme whose £50m first phase (15-20MW) is also set to enter commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2025.

In a statement, councillor Tom Ross, leader of Trafford Council and Green City-Region lead for Greater Manchester, said: “The Trafford BESS, alongside the Trafford Green Hydrogen scheme, places Trafford and Greater Manchester at the forefront of the UK’s energy transition. The two schemes will help address our climate crisis – one of Trafford Council’s corporate priorities - and will support our region’s plan to reach a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2038.”


In addition to Carlton Power’s two projects, Highview Power Storage Inc. is planning to build and operate the world’s first commercial liquid air storage system – a £250m 250MWh long duration, cryogenic energy storage system – on the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park, which was the site of the Carrington coal-fired power station.

Keith Clarke, founder and chief executive of Carlton Power said: “Carlton Power acquired the former coal fired power station in 2008 to redevelop the site for new energy projects.  With the approval of the BESS, this brings the total investment value of the site to £2bn, which will deliver significant economic benefits to the Greater Manchester region and help to deliver the regional net zero targets.  The investment in the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park over the next 2-5 years demonstrates Carlton’s long-term vision and commitment to re-energising the Trafford site.”

Commenting on the development, Seiko Hidaka, a legal director in Gowling WLG's energy practice, said: "Batteries can capture energy at times when it is being generated surplus to demand to provide the much-needed relief on the National Grid, which can obviously struggle with under-capacity to deal with high-level demand. Batteries could therefore be critical to support the ever power-hungry modern industry at times when there is immense pressure to move away from fossil fuel based energy supply.

“The planning/ construction hurdle has been successfully cleared which is a major milestone. It is now vital to attract the right combination and capability of partners to deliver against a strict timetable."