THE electric car pioneer Tesla is supplying the equipment and software for an energy storage plant in Dorset.

The project, at Holes Bay in Poole, will be part of a drive to shift the UK away from dependence on fossil fuels.

Harmony Energy and the global company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (ARV), which is part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, are working together on the project.

Tesla – the California-based car maker led by Elon Musk – is providing six of its Megapack, Lithium-ion batteries, which store energy on the scale needed by utility companies.

It is also providing its Autobidder artificial intelligence software.

Felipe Hernández, managing director for engineering and asset management at FRV, said: “Holes Bay will be the first project in a strategic energy storage pipeline to be launched globally. We are pleased to join together with Harmony Energy in this project that demonstrates the economic and technical feasibility of the battery energy storage system while supporting the development of UK’s strategic sustainable energy programme.”

He added: “We are already collaborating with governments, regulators, and partners around the world to lay the foundations for a new energy model. Energy storage plays a central and critical role to fully realize the power of renewable energy, and FRV acknowledges the value of this technology as a key element to achieve a decarbonised society.”

Tesla's batteries have a capacity of 15 MWh and are connected to the Southern Electric Power distribution network. The partners in the project say this will allow them to store energy from renewable sources, providing peak-time flexibility to the National Grid.

Peter Kavanagh, chief executive of Yorkshire-headquartered Harmony Energy, said: “Utility-scale battery energy storage is critical to the future of the UK’s energy supply, often seen as the missing link in the UK’s renewable energy strategy, both in terms of controlling grid frequency and providing backup during periods of peak demand and supply.

“We’re delighted to have worked closely with FRV and Tesla to complete this project, which is the first in our pipeline of battery energy storage plant to be built in the UK.”