Construction work now underway on roof top solar farm on the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC)

Battery Tech

Solar farm capable of generating a peak output of 2.8MW of clean, renewable electricity.

Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), the national battery manufacturing development facility, is set to revolutionise the way it generates energy with an innovative project which will transform its roof into a solar farm capable of generating a peak output of 2.8MW of clean, renewable electricity.

In addition to the solar farm, the project will see the creation of two 2MWh Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) which will give the facility greater flexibility over when it uses energy, allowing solar energy generated throughout the day to be used overnight. Construction work is set to commence in March 2024.

Once fully operational, the new Vital Energi installation will significantly help to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint by 555,000kg per year.

Funding for the solar farm is being provided by UK Research and Innovation, via the Faraday Battery Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK. The FBC is a £610m investment programme which supports world-class scientific technology development and manufacturing scale-up capability for batteries in the UK.

Sean Gilgunn, UKBIC’s Managing Director, said: “The installation of a solar farm on our roof will be fantastic for UKBIC. This latest investment from UKRI will help us to reduce our carbon intensity and demonstrate good industry practice by making the battery industry greener. The initiative will help to reduce our energy bills and help towards the UK’s goal of achieving net zero by 2050.”

Simon Jones, Vital Energi’s Regional Manager for Solar, added, “It’s only right that a world leader in battery development should harness the latest technology and UKBIC are making a significant investment in their green energy future.  This project will not only substantially drive down their carbon emissions but will also deliver long-term energy savings and bring stability to their energy costs.

“UKBIC’s size means that their roof is a fantastic resource which can be used to house almost 5,000 solar panels across the roof space of its 18,500m2 facility, generating a peak output of 2.8MW, and will be a fantastic technical achievement once completed.”

Work is already underway on the solar farm with completion scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2024.


Photo caption (left to right): Sean Gilgunn, UKBIC’s Managing Director, and Simon Jones, Vital Energi’s Regional Manager for Solar.

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A Megawatt hour (Mwh) is the basic unit for measuring electric power and is the equivalent of 1,000 Kilowatt hours (Kwh) used continuously for one hour. It is the equivalent to the amount of electricity used by 330 homes during one hour.

About UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC)

The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) is the UK’s national manufacturing battery development facility, providing battery manufacturing scale-up and skills for the battery sector.

The pioneering facility is a key part of the UK Government funded Faraday Battery Challenge, which delivered by Innovate UK on behalf of UK Research and Innovation, has the aim of building a high-tech, high-value, high-skill battery industry in the UK.

In addition to funding from the Faraday Battery Challenge through UK Research and Innovation, UKBIC’s completion was part-funded through the West Midlands Combined Authority.  The facility was delivered through a consortium of Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and WMG, at the University of Warwick.  UKBIC was created in 2018 following a competition led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre with support from Innovate UK.

About the Faraday Battery Challenge

The Faraday Battery Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK, is a £610 million UKRI Challenge Fund investment, delivering a mission-led, research and innovation programme that covers “Lab to Factory” development, cutting-edge research, national scale-up infrastructure, and skills and training. The FBC seeks to address market failures in road transport decarbonisation and to attract investors to the UK’s battery industry. By leveraging scientific strength, with our delivery partners: Faraday Institution, UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) and Innovate UK, we are building an ecosystem that supports industry growth and ensures UK prosperity.

About UK Research and Innovation

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the largest public funder of research and innovation in the UK, with a budget of around £8bn. It is composed of seven disciplinary research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

We operate across the whole country and work with our many partners in higher education, research organisations businesses, government, and charities.

Our vision is for an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK that gives everyone the opportunity to contribute and to benefit, enriching lives locally, nationally and internationally.

Our mission is to convene, catalyse and invest in close collaboration with others to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system that connects discovery to prosperity and public good.