An industrial battery site to store energy from wind and solar farms has been granted planning permission.
The facility covering 8.6 acres of land – roughly four football pitches – will be built just off the A140 on Hickling Lane in Swainsthorpe, Norfolk.
South Norfolk Council (SNC) gave the go-ahead for the plant, which will sit close to a nearby substation.
It will have capacity to store 114 MW of energy, to be fed to the National Grid at times of high demand.
The scheme, submitted by French energy firm EDF, will house 176 “battery cubes”.
At an SNC planning meeting on Wednesday, Jennifer Gordon, a speaker on behalf of the applicant, said the UK was increasingly relying on intermittent forms of energy generation, such as wind and solar.
She said batteries were needed to help balance the grid when that power was not available.
‘Need battery storage’
While there were no objecting speakers at the meeting, Ms Gordon acknowledged that there had been concerns about the traffic generated by the site and fire risks.
She promised EDF would work with the council and highways authority to minimise any disruption, adding it had been engaging with Norfolk fire service on a fire contingency plan.
Conservative councillor Lisa Neal said: “We are all aware that we need to create more electricity and we need to have the battery storage. This, in my opinion, is meeting that.”
The scheme was unanimously approved by councillors, subject to the submission of a fire strategy and construction management plan.
Two other battery schemes were also approved for the area last year – one on land north of Stoke Lane in Dunston, and the other off Mangreen Hall Lane, also in Dunston.
A previous battery project, next to the substation, was approved in 2018.
While the battery schemes look to be going ahead, Swedish energy giant Vattenfall’s Boreas wind farm, which had been planned off the Norfolk coast, was recently put on hold.
Source : BBC