One of the UK’s largest battery energy storage systems, which will be built in North Yorkshire, has received final investment approval from its developer.

SSE Renewables is to start work in the coming months on the scheme at Monk Fryston, near Sherburn-in-Elmet.

The 320MW / 640MWh grid-scale battery is SSE Renewables’ third BESS development to reach this stage, following on from its 50MW Salisbury and 150MW Ferrybridge BESS projects.

The construction green-light for Monk Fryston is the latest milestone in solar and battery development for SSE Renewables, which has a secured 1.2GW pipeline of solar and battery projects, with a further 1.3GW under development.


The energy company says battery storage has a vital role to play in helping the UK and Ireland decarbonise.

Batteries such as the 320MW Monk Fryston project, which can run for up to two hours at a time, will be capable of storing power for release back to the UK national grid when it is needed the most – helping to manage peaks of energy demand.

This helps balance energy supply and demand more effectively and maximise the potential of available renewable technology to power the grid – even when the sun is not shining, or the wind is not blowing.

In addition, the 320MW battery will be located next to National Grid’s substation in Monk Fryston. By directly connecting the battery to the existing transmission network without the need for additional grid infrastructure, SSE Renewables says it can minimise the built infrastructure impact on the surrounding environment.

Richard Cave-Bigley, Director of Solar & Battery – SSE Renewables, said: “It’s fantastic that we have taken a Final Investment Decision on the Monk Fryston BESS project, one of the largest battery storage projects in the UK.^

“This is another positive step towards reaching our net zero targets, enabling us to provide stored energy to the grid and provide balancing energy supply to support intermittent renewable energy generation, and, in doing so, strengthening the UK’s energy security.”

Finlay McCutcheon, Director of Onshore Renewables, SSE Renewables, said: We are continuing to take action at real pace to rapidly scale up both our installed renewable energy capacity and the associated large-scale energy storage needed to support it, as is demonstrated by our diverse portfolio of projects across onshore and offshore wind, hydro and of course solar and battery.”

SSE Renewables’ Solar and Battery portfolio currently comprises four projects in delivery in the UK totalling 550MW. They are a 50MW BESS site in Salisbury, a 150MW BESS site in Ferrybridge in North Yorkshire, a 30MW solar farm in Littleton, Worcestershire, and now a 320MW BESS site at Monk Fryston covering 0.48ha.

A 150MW BESS site in the former SSE coal-power station at Fiddler’s Ferry, Warrington, has also been consented, with construction potentially starting as early as 2024 subject to reaching a Final Investment Decision.