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Big batteries are now powering large tower cranes in London – a UK first

Ampd Energy, a pioneer of urban construction battery storage, is powering large tower cranes for global construction giant Laing O’Rourke on a huge project in central London.

The Enertainer

Hong Kong-based Ampd’s flagship product is called the Enertainer – “energy” and “container,” geddit? – which is an all-electric lithium-ion battery storage system designed specifically for powering construction sites, eliminating the need for the direct use of fossil fuels. 

The plug-and-play Enertainer can power any type of heavy electrical equipment, but it’s most effective when powering high-power equipment with intermittent loads, such as cranes and hoists. Ampd says that compared to a diesel generator, Enertainer is 30 times quieter than a diesel generator, reduces emissions by up to 90%, emits no air pollutants, and requires minimal maintenance.

Ampd was a 2022 Earthshot Prize finalist. The Earthshot Prize is awarded to five winners each year for their contributions to environmentalism.

According to the International Energy Agency:

The buildings and buildings construction sectors combined are responsible for 30% of total global final energy consumption and 27% of total energy sector emissions.

Big batteries and large tower cranes

Enertainer is being used to power three cranes on London’s £1 billion Olympia redevelopment, known as Future Olympia, for six weeks since its deployment in December for Laing O’Rourke, the principal construction contractor on the £600 million redevelopment of the Olympia Exhibition Centre.

According to Ampd Energy and Laing O’Rourke, it’s the first time that battery storage has been used in the UK to power such large construction equipment.

UK construction sector customers can now access the Enertainer through Laing O’Rourke’s subsidiary, Select Plant Hire. Stephen Bradby, plant & engineering technical leader at Select, said:

Each one of these Ampd units removes a 500kVA generator and all its associated emissions, noise, space, and cost. It really is making a vast improvement on the environmental impact of construction.

The Enertainer has also been deployed in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia on nearly 100 construction projects. You can check out its specs here.

Read more: Check out this new electric telescopic crawler crane – the first in its weight class

Photo: Ampd Energy

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.