OCU TV Article – Ferrybridge

As part of our journey to becoming the UK’s leading energy transition contractor, OCU Group are Principal Contractor and Designer, for SSE Renewables, in the build, design, and commissioning of a 150MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) site situated in Ferrybridge, North Yorkshire.

The SSE Renewables site is positioned where three former cooling towers, part of the Ferrybridge ‘C’ Power Station, were demolished. This marks our client’s commitment to the UK’s net zero mission and the transition to a low-carbon energy future, which OCU Group are keen to be on board with.

The project will provide the National Grid with 300MWh of flexible capacity, for two-hour periods.

David Finn, Major Projects Director, explained,

“This BESS site will provide 150MW of energy, for two hours, into the grid which will provide balance to the system and support during peak demands.

“OCU has utilised one of our acquisitions as part of this contract; the team at Andrews Associates have helped with civils and structural design work.”

Winning this contract has allowed us to implement cost-effective, decarbonised and secure energy systems in a safe and environmentally friendly manner, continuing our enviable reputation in Energy Transition and Renewables schemes.

A Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is a device that enables energy from different sources, like solar or wind, to be stored and then released when the power is needed the most. They consist of one or more batteries and can be used to balance the electric grid, provide backup and stabilise the grid.

Storing energy is critical to decarbonising the power system and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Julian Reynolds, Project Manager, said,

“We first had to remove all the foundations left behind from the demolition and now we are in the process of constructing the bases that will house the battery storage cabinets, all the ancillary equipment, a 132kV transformer bay, a switch house and two ancillary transformer bays.”

We pride ourselves on our commitment to sustainability and protecting the environment on and around our sites. At Ferrybridge, we use electric pod generators which use a battery to run and therefore reduces any harmful emissions that would otherwise be released if using a diesel generator.

The team have also recycled the concrete left over after the cooling towers were demolished by SSE Renewables, which has been crushed and reused for the piling mats.

Furthermore, our container foundations are cast off site, which also aids our mission to innovate and deliver sustainability, reducing our carbon footprint.

At OCU Group, we have a passion to address complex challenges; not only do we remain focused on sustainability, but we ensure that Health and Safety standards are always prioritised. 

When visiting Ferrybridge, everyone must be inducted, signed onto the RAMS (Risk Assessment Method Statement), consistently reading the hazard and risk boards, wearing correct PPE, following signs, reporting anything that could be unsafe and using the right equipment.

There are also 5 SSE Golden rules: assess risks, wear PPE, accept challenges, reverse park and hold the handrail.

Barry Wilkinson, Regional SHEQ advisor, said,

“We want everyone working on site to return to their families at the end of the day.

“I promote a positive health and safety culture by liaising with other team members who should be constantly monitoring compliance onsite. The team on site make my role a lot easier, I am just a small part of a big machine which is well oiled, efficient and works perfectly.”

If you are interested in seeing Ferrybridge come to life, be sure to check out our OCU TV episode: