Hunterston’s developing battery storage complex is “vital” to meeting Scotland’s goal of becoming a net zero nation by 2045, says cabinet secretary Michael Matheson.

Mr Matheson, the cabinet secretary for net zero, energy and transport, made the comments yesterday when he visited the site which is set to become part of the largest green battery storage facility in Europe.

He said: “Amp Energy’s battery btorage facility at Hunterston highlights the progress that we’re making towards meeting our ambitions to become a net zero nation by 2045.

“It is vital that we address the challenge of maintaining system resilience in periods of low renewable output.

“The increased deployment of storage and flexibility technologies will be vital to meeting this goal.

“Amp’s investment in its Scottish green battery complex will contribute to this objective by enabling the storage of renewable electricity at grid scale for use when required.”

Battery complexes like Hunterston’s were mentioned in the Scottish Government’s draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan consultation as important developments for Scotland’s future.

The complex will store energy from Scotland’s wind farms and will provide grid stability services and power management across the central belt.

Once operational, it will be able to power around 800,000 homes in Scotland, for up to two hours, when required.

Spearheaded by Amp Energy, a global energy transition platform and renewable energy developer, the facility has been in the works since 2022 and is expected to be completed next year.

Amp Energy's co-founder and chief investment officer, Paul Ezekiel, said: “We were delighted to welcome the cabinet secretary to Hunterston to learn more about Scotland’s renewable energy ambitions and demonstrate the major contribution that Amp Energy’s Scottish green battery complex can make in achieving Scotland’s net zero transition.”

The development will comprise three 400 MW battery facilities (a combined total of 1.2GW), each providing 800 MWhrs of energy storage capacity, with the other two sites in Kincardine, Fife and Windyhill, outside Glasgow.

Upon its announcement in February 2022, the development raised concerns from local councillors regarding the flammability of battery storage sites.

Councillor for West Kilbride and Dalry, Todd Ferguson, said: “Jobs are always welcomed but not at the expense of green spaces as I’ve consistently explained.

“There have been incidents globally about these battery storage facilities catching fire and some have been known to explode.”

While there have been fires at battery storage sites, none have been linked to Amp Energy.