MORE details are emerging on the work taking place at the entrance to the Hunterston estate.

Motorists on the A78 have noticed work being carried out at the estate entrance just north of West Kilbride.

The site is soon to become home to one of the largest battery storage facilities in Europe. 

The 'Scottish Green Battery Complex', announced last year by renewable energy developer Amp Energy, is due to become operational in April 2024.

The Hunterston site is one of two which are each set to provide 400 megawatt hours (MWh) of battery storage capacity - the other being located at Kincardine in Fife.


The two sites were given planning permission by the Scottish Government's energy consents unit in January 2022.

Why are the current works taking place?

The current activity at the entrance to Hunterston Estate is in relation to building a new access road.

West Kilbride Community Council has been consulted on the move.

Chairman John Lamb explained: "They are having to put in an access road beause the existing road is not capable of taking the weight for the industrial traffic in relation to the new battery storage plant - that is why the lorryloads of stones are going in there. 

Largs and Millport Weekly News: There have been ongoing works at Hunterston Estate in recent weeksThere have been ongoing works at Hunterston Estate in recent weeks (Image: Newsquest)

"Basically if they had used the access road into the estate for all the lorry deliveries required for the new plan, it would have had to be closed off to the public.

"It is still accessible into the estate, and I assume once the battery plant is built, they will remove the temporary road which is getting built at the moment, or they will grass it over."

When the battery storage plant is built, it is expected to be largely not visible to the public.

The 400 MW batteries will be the two largest grid-connected battery storage facilities in Europe.

Amp X, Amp's proprietary AI-powered digital energy platform, will be used to optimize dispatch of power from the batteries to the electricity grid.

The projects will provide reliable grid stability services and power management across the central belt of Scotland including Glasgow and Edinburgh.

How will it help reach the Scottish government's net-zero targets?

By storing and managing the dispatch of renewable energy generated from Scottish windfarms, the projects are 'future-proofing the UK's electricity infrastructure at a fraction of the cost of expensive transmission upgrades', according to Amp Energy.

A spokesperson said: "Setting the standard for energy storage globally, the projects, located in Hunterston and Kincardine, provide an important step forward for the UK towards achieving its net-zero target.

"Following the recent ScotWind offshore wind announcement for the planned addition of 25 GW of new renewable generation capacity, the requirement for large-scale energy storage that can shift power and provide grid stability services is even more critical.

"Over the coming years, Amp's Scottish battery facilities will enable up to 1,750 GWhrs per year of additional renewable energy to be generated in Scotland and transported to other regions of the UK, equivalent to enabling approximately 500 MW of new offshore wind deployments."

How many jobs will be created?

It is estimated that the project located at Hunterston will generate approximately 40-60 jobs for the local area during the construction period.

Together, it is estimated that the Hunterston and Kincardine projects will generate approximately 80-120 jobs  during the construction period. 

What concerns have been aired regarding the project?

On the announcement of the plans in February 2022, Todd Ferguson, at the time councillor for West Kilbride and Dalry, said he had some concerns about the project.

He 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.”

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

While there have been reports previously of fires at such facilities, none of these appear to have happened at sites operated by Amp Energy.

Councillor Ferguson says is keen to make sure that if the project goes ahead, conditions are in place to offset the loss of the greenbelt site.

These would include tree planting and landscaping

Amp believe this move will be an important step towards Scotland hitting its net-zero targets.

Ben Skinner, vice president of global markets at the Toronto-based company, said: “Amp is making a significant investment in vitally needed green infrastructure as the UK transitions to a fully de-carbonised grid.”

What are the Scottish government saying?

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