Pivot Power has received planning approval for its second ~50MW battery project, to be located north of Carlisle, as it continues to progress towards the goal of a 45-site battery network supporting electric vehicle charging hubs.

The £25 million project will be connected to the transmission network at National Grid’s Harker sub-station after receiving planning permission from Carlisle City Council earlier this month.

Pivot Power expects to begin construction in July 2019 and complete the project by October. Owing to its strategic location adjacent to junction 44 of the M6 motorway, Pivot will later submit a separate planning application for an EV charging hub at another site in the area.

As with the first project to have secured planning approval in Nursling outside Southampton, plans could include facilities to charge up to 100 EVs at a time across various charging speeds. Speaking previously about the first project, Pivot’s COO Matthew Boulton said the company would initially seek to install “closer to 50 than 10” charge points at first.

The company has added that the eventual charging infrastructure to be installed sharing the same grid connection, subject to approval, could support mass charging infrastructure for commercial fleets such as electric buses, taxis and vans.

Speaking last week at Solar & Storage Live, Ed Simpson, partner at Downing LLP which is helping to fund the £1.6 billion deployment programme, said the first battery approved in June by Test Valley Borough Council could be connected via a private wire to a nearby bus depot to charge electric public transport vehicles.

A statement from Pivot Power added: “We are very interested in collaborating with Southampton bus companies, but discussions are still at an early stage.”

Pivot has said its second project could support growing logistics activity in the area, such as at Kingsmoor Park Local Enterprise Zone or provide a rapid charge facility to Lake District tourists, and support potential future growth of electrified transport across the M6 corridor.

Mikey Clarke, chief technology officer of Pivot Power, said: “We could not be more thrilled to announce plans for the site at Harker on the doorstep of the Lake District UNESCO World Heritage site.

“The plan will contribute to cleaning our nation’s air and driving forward a cleaner greener economy – a need brought into sharp focus by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s landmark climate scenario report last week.

“Working with the local authorities, our plans will see Carlisle become a pioneering city for low carbon vehicle adoption, ensuring that the rural areas it serves are not left lagging in the EV revolution.”

Pivot Power aims to have 50MW batteries at ten sites operational within 18 months and 45 within five years to reach a 2GW battery storage network.

In the most recent update to National Grid’s transmission entry capacity (TEC) register, on which firms wishing to connect to the transmission system must declare the maximum level of access required for purchase in a year, the company has five projects awaiting consents as of October 18: Alverdiscott and Axminster in Devon, Bolney in West Sussex, Braintree in Essex and Bramford just outside Ipswich.

The latter two are expected to be energised as early as 31 October 2020, with the others to follow in 2022 and 2023.

In an update given to Current±, the company said: “Pivot Power has submitted 45 connection applications and are in receipt of a large number of offers, some of which have been accepted. We expect to have accepted 45 connections within the next three months.

“We expect the TEC register to be updated with additional sites where we have accepted the connection offered and they are not necessarily in date order.”

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