Why battery storage?
Battery storage has an important role to play in decarbonising our National Grid as it provides a balancing mechanism to reduce the risk of power shortages and blackouts. This is done by drawing electricity from the National Grid when levels of generation on the network outweigh the levels of demand. The electricity is then discharged back onto the National Grid during these periods of higher demand to ensure any energy generated is not wasted and there is no loss of power to end users.
What will the development look like?
The development would consist of approximately 162 battery storage units, the size of a storage container, typically 6m long by 2.5m wide and 3m high and would include noise attenuation. Transformers which are used to adapt the voltage to match the grid connection, allow the project to import and export to the National Grid. There will also be access tracks to site and 2.5 high deer fencing, or similar, around the perimeter with inward facing infrared CCTV and motion detection lighting for security. Landscaping will also be incorporated into the proposals to provide mitigation and screening.
Will the proposal impact the local environment?
For proposed projects such as Harker Battery Storge, the applicant generally needs to undertake assessments and prepare reports considering the environmental impacts of the development. These environmental topic areas include landscape and visual, ecology, flood risk and drainage. Other amenity consideration, including noise, will also be assessed. The reports will form part of the planning application.
The feedback from the assessments will be carefully considered and will help to shape the final design and layout of the project while also providing mitigation/enhancements where possible and suitable to limit the impact on the local environment.
Are Battery Energy Storage Systems safe?
Battery energy storage systems use the same technology as in our smartphones and laptops, which we use with ease and relative comfort every day. There are currently over 1,000MW of battery storage projects operating safely around the UK, with most being fitted with cooling and fire suppression systems alongside hyper-sensitive sensors which can detect off-gasses, which long predate any sort of fire, meaning that these units are safer than ever. Should the sensor detect even the slightest change, it can automatically shut off the battery unit remotely and instantaneously, well in advance of any possible fire. The batteries will also be monitored 24/7, and regularly checked to ensure safety and compliance.
The scheme will be developed to industry guidelines and Fire and Rescue will be consulted through the application process.
How long would it take to build?
The construction phase would last approximately 18 months after which the development will operate for 40 years, when the site will be decommissioned and the land returned to its original use.
A temporary set down and vehicle parking area will be provided for the construction phase within the site boundary.
What about noise?
Battery energy storage systems will generate some noise from inverters, switchgear and fans. Mitigation has been considered, where necessary, to minimise noise impacts to acceptable levels. A noise impact assessment will be provided as part of the planning application.
To manage noise through construction, a Construction Traffic Method Plan will provide details of proposed access arrangements, the anticipated programme, construction vehicle numbers and type, construction worker numbers and the proposed construction hours. This will need to be agreed with the local planning authority prior to commencement of construction.
Who will decide whether to grant planning permission for this project?
A planning application will be made to Cumberland Council who will make the decision on whether to grant planning permission.