Local authorities in the UK's Greater Manchester region have granted planning permission to UK energy infrastructure development company Carlton Power to build the world's largest battery storage scheme, which will cost US$963m (£750m) ).

Carlton Power announced on Monday that it has received planning permission from local planning body Trafford Council for its plans to build and operate a 1GW (1040MW/2080MWh) project at the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park in Greater Manchester. According to the final investment decision (FID), the battery storage scheme is expected to start construction in the first quarter of 2024 and enter into commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2025.

Carlton Power is in advanced negotiations with companies to finance, build and operate the Trafford Battery Energy Storage Scheme (BESS).

The battery storage scheme is Carlton Power's second major energy project, which has been approved for the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park of around 12 hectares, eight miles south of Manchester. Another project is the 200MW Trafford Green Hydrogen Scheme, whose first phase (15-20 MW) is also due to enter commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2025.

Trafford Council approved the green hydrogen project in September 2022 making it the largest green hydrogen scheme in the UK. Carlton Power also recently won planning permission for one of the UK's first hydrogen pipelines at Trafford.

The UK is betting big on a surge in hydrogen, energy storage and offshore wind installations to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. However, under current regulations, renewable energy projects face hurdles in connecting to the grid, while battery storage needs to be increased to ensure energy supply in times when the weather is not favorable for solar or wind generation.

The Local Government Association (LGA) warned earlier this month that more than 1,000 planning permission wind and solar projects in the UK could not start construction due to challenges connecting to the national grid.