WORK will start soon on a major project to store solar energy in Swindon.

The borough council’s wholly-owned energy from waste company Public Power Solutions has agreed with battery plant specialist Still Waters Green Technology to build a huge 30 megawatt battery plant in Mannington.

The batteries will be hooked up from the disused former council depot to nearby solar farms and store the energy created when the sun is shining. This will be released to the national grid at night when energy is less abundant, and therefore more expensive.

The land in Mannington is leased from the council for 30 years, giving the authority a guaranteed income.

PPS’ managing director Bernie Brannan said: “We’re very pleased to be moving forward with this exciting technology thanks to our agreement with SWGT.

"Battery storage is playing an increasingly important role in the UK’s energy infrastructure as more and more renewable energy projects are coming online. This project will help the borough in its efforts to ‘build back greener’ boosting the local economic recovery, provide an income for the council, and contribute to the decarbonisation of the UK’s energy sector.”

Cabinet member for climate change Keith Williams added: “The battery storage scheme is a big step towards Swindon’s goal of being carbon neutral and eliminating the reliance on fossil fuels to supply electricity during peak periods.

"This privately-funded partnership demonstrates the commercial viability of schemes like this and I am proud that Swindon is at the forefront of such innovations in the UK.”

The cleared former depot site will host 25 containers between the A3102, railway line and Mannington Retail Park.