The Cleve Hill Mega Battery proposal

We’ve described previously how the information about the battery storage has been vague. This is remarkable given that the proposal now is to build what could be the world’s biggest battery.

Page 5-17 of the Preliminary Environment Impact Report says: Energy Storage Facility
91. The energy storage market is currently subject to a large degree of uncertainty and it is not yet known exactly what form the energy storage facility is likely to take, however it is expected to be a battery storage facility. Battery storage arrays can be modular, housed within shipping containers or within larger bespoke buildings. The Rochdale Envelope parameters included in the ES will therefore likely cover a wide range of scenarios to ensure that the operational scheme can provide the necessary electricity management services to the National Grid and will be commercially viable.
92. The candidate Development design in this PEIR for the energy storage facility comprises an approximately 350 megawatt hour (MWh) battery array which will be located within the electrical compound adjacent to the west of the Development substation.

If you don’t know how big a 350MWh battery is, this is the one built in Australia by Tesla:

Tesla actually built the world’s biggest battery…


“…in reality, the massive installation—it’s comparable to a football field’s footprint, according to The New York Times— is a network of batteries housed in Tesla-made units called Powerpacks. Tesla isn’t saying precisely how many Powerpacks make up the giant battery, only that they’re counted in the hundreds; it packs 100 megawatts of power capable of energizing over 30,000 homes, according to the company…

The best way to think about [the project] is a large field of refrigerator-like Tesla Powerpacks,” says Mark Tholke, the chief development officer of Advanced Microgrid Solutions. That company installs batteries made by Tesla into buildings for businesses, which can then store energy when power prices are low, and discharge it later to help save money and ease the strain on the electrical grid.

Systems like the one in Australia will also need to include inverters to convert the DC power that’s stored in the batteries to AC, which is used in the electrical grid.

via Tesla actually built the world’s biggest battery. Here’s how it works. | Popular Science

Australia’s mega-battery is 100MW/129MWh in size, so CHSP is proposing something that is almost three times larger than the world’s largest battery.

The Hornsdale Power Reserve website shows a video of the battery being built.

A news story shows how battery facilities such as the Australian mega-battery have more than one use. When electricity supply outstrips demand the battery can be used to store excess power from the whole grid on the cheap, and then selling it back to the grid when demand is at a peak. The article reports a calculation that in just two days approximately £0.5 million ($1 million AUD) might have been made.

‘Cleve Hill Mega Battery’?

Don’t forget that the original scoping report included just this tiny paragraph about the storage:


The question for Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd is: how much of this proposal is really just a ‘greenwash’ for hiding the fact that they’re really building the world’s biggest battery? Have they decided that the public’s innate support for solar (in preference to technologies like nuclear) will help get this project through the planning, whilst the battery side of things is just hidden away?

Shouldn’t this proposal really be called the “Cleve Hill Mega Battery”?

4 thoughts on “The Cleve Hill Mega Battery proposal”

  1. I have just re-read the initial brochure “introducing our proposals and consultation programme” –Autumn 2017 and this is the pertinent sentence on page 2 : “this project could showcase the UK as a global leader in battery technology” — of course this development is about BATTERY STORAGE AND UK GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES OR SELLING ENERGY TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER (NOT THE UK!!!)

  2. Whilst I am sympathetic to the opposition of this development in an area so large, visible and a natural habit. I do take issue with some of the stances. Central there seems to be some kind of low level conspiracy paranoia that gets dragged into these articles and comments which I don’t think is constructive or helpful unless you have evidence to back it up. Another annoyance is the use of the word “Greenwash” . Greenwash is used to describe PR spin to make out something is green when really it is not. This is a massive engineering project to generate and store renewable electricity so far far from being Greenwash. The issue is the local environment impact not greenwashing?? My last issue is with this article is the sentence “Have they decided that the public’s innate support for solar (in preference to technologies like nuclear)”. You seem to suggest that public support for renewable energy rather than support for Nuclear fission power generating which uses unstable dangerous materials, carries risk and for which we have no long term plan for dealing with radioactive waste? For now a mix of renewable energy, carbon capture (for coal and old power plants) and yes Nuclear is the best we can do. In the future I hope the Nuclear Fusion power station prototypes do pay of and we can enjoy clean unlimited power without the problems for Fission. In short I do support the campaign as I think this is a poor choice of site. But please lose the conspiracy stuff and the anti-renewable stuff.

  3. Actually the Tesla Hornsdale battery is not the largest in the world – that award belongs to the 300MWh sodium-sulphur battery that Kyushu Electric have at the Buzen substation in Japan. The Tesla battery is however the largest Lithium-ion battery in the world. Unfortunately both Lithium-ion and Sodium-Sulphur technologies are highly susceptible to fire and/or explosion.

    Only 3 weeks ago there was another Lithium-ion battery fire/explosion in McMicken Arizona of a 2MW battery – that injured 4 firemen (

    A similarly sized 2MW Sodium-Sulphur battery in Ibaraki prefecture, Japan went on fire in 2011 and burnt for 2 weeks before the 24 tonnes of sulphur and 12 tonnes of Sodium was extinguished – fortunately nobody was injured in that fire but the building housing the battery was entirely destroyed ( )

    The only equivalent battery technology that is safe from fire and of issues with potentially trapped energy is the Vanadium flow battery – as described here:- ( ) – this is fortunate as actually the Chinese are currently building one of this type as what will easily be the world’s largest battery in Dalian province – that is going to be 800MWh, in a single battery building. The energy is stored in a liquid solution of dissolved Vanadium and can never catch fire as the liquid is water and it is actually self-extinguishing.

    If it was up to me I would insist that any battery installations over 1MWh in size, in any kind of urban or suburban setting must use Vanadium flow technology – the high energy densities of other technologies, especially lithium-ion that has been expressly developed for high energy density in cars and portable devices, is just too susceptible to overheating, catastrophic failure of a single cell, followed by avalanche into other cells. Once the fire starts there is almost nothing that can stop it.

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