Pivot says Southampton will be the first of 45 sites across the UK that will combine 50 MW batteries with rapid-charging stations.
“The development will put Southampton at the forefront of the smart energy revolution, creating infrastructure that will make it easier for drivers to switch to EVs and that will support action to clean up the city’s air,” said Matthew Boulton, chief operating officer of Pivot Power.
Test Valley Borough Council has given Pivot permission to install a 50 MW battery at Nursling electricity sub-station at a cost of up to £25m, which it expects to be operational by July 2019
It will be one of the UK’s biggest batteries, storing enough electricity to supply nearly 6000 average homes for a day from a single charge. The UK currently has just 300 MW of grid-scale battery storage.
Pivot also intends to build an EV charging ‘superhub’ at another site in the area. The hub will offer rapid charging for up to 100 cars at the same time and will be capable of supporting the fastest chargers.
It will also be able to support mass charging infrastructure for commercial fleets such as electric buses, taxis and vans.
Boulton added: “We want to support councils working to clean up air pollution, promote low-carbon policies and develop a sustainable economy with better services for local people. Close collaboration will ensure that we build the right infrastructure in the right place to make it easy for drivers, businesses and public services to switch to electric vehicles.”
Southampton will be the first site to be developed in a £1.6bn programme that will set up a national network of batteries and EV charging hubs fed directly by National Grid sub-stations. Pivot aims to have operational 50 MW batteries at 10 sites within 18 months and 45 within five years.
The 2 GW battery network is intended to help National Grid manage supply and demand and accommodate the demands of mass EV charging and higher levels of renewable generation.