Greenbelt land in Hull to become home to power storage sites

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 16 Aug 2017

Greenbelt land around Hull could be the next hotspot for a new generation of power storage projects.

Two schemes, one near Bransholme and the other close to Cottingham, have already been given the go-ahead.

They will both see battery storage units similar in size to shipping containers being laid out to provide back-up electricity for the National Grid.

The batteries charge when there is surplus electricity available and release their charge when demand increases.

Energy secretary Greg Clark is backing research and development in battery storage technology

As well as providing additional power to the National Grid at peak times of day, the units also help in reducing power cuts which are generally caused by sudden overloads.

The development on the outskirts of Bransholme is earmarked for a site close to the Noddle Hill nature reserve, which is currently used as a green waste mulching facility by Hull City Council.

It will involve the installation of 16 battery units housed in steel containers, four transformers and two sub-stations.

The site will be secured by 2.5m high steel fencing and 24-hour CCTV coverage.

Bristol-based Aura Power, the company behind the Bransholme project, recently secured planning permission from the council to construct the facility and operate it for 25 years.

The land will be close to Noddle Hill nature reserve, pictured

A decision notice has also been published by the council confirming a proposed 25-year lease deal with the company covering the land.

In its planning application, Aura said the development was vital to help meet a predicted four-fold increase in demand for electricity by 2030.

"There is an urgent need to secure development of energy storage wherever possible, to support the Grid.

"Large-scale battery energy storage system schemes are the most efficient technology available to fill this essential role as the nation transitions to a low-carbon economy.

"The technology not only assists in mitigating the risk of power cuts as generation capacity is lost over the next few years, but also supports the UK in meeting its carbon reduction commitments by supporting the move to renewable energy generation.

"This development is deemed essential infrastructure and it would clearly be of significant interest in terms of ensuring the future security of UK electricity supplies."

A battery storage site connected the UK National Grid

The Cottingham scheme, by Harmony Energy Storage, will see 17 units installed on land off Park Lane.

When operational, both sites will be capable of storing and exporting up to 49.5MW of electricity.

In comparison, the 12-turbine wind farm at Lisset, near Driffield, is capable of generating just under 30MW.

The move towards battery storage was underlined recently by energy secretary Greg Clark when he announced a new £246m programme of investment in the technology, to be known as the Faraday Challenge.

The money will be spent over the next four years on research and innovation in battery technology.

Mr Clark said: "The work that we do through the Faraday Challenge will, quite literally, power the automotive and energy revolution where, already, the UK is leading the world."

Professor Philip Nelson, chief executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, said: "Batteries will form a cornerstone of a low carbon economy, whether in cars, aircraft, consumer electronics, district or grid storage.

"To deliver the UK’s low-carbon economy we must consolidate and grow our capabilities in novel battery technology."

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