Shropshire Star

Giant battery plan set to use 15 shipping container sized units close to Ironbridge world heritage site

A battery hub to store 40MW of power in up to 15 shipping-container style units has been proposed for land close to a World Heritage Site.

The site is off Buildwas Road. Photo; Google Maps

Developers behind the plan for land at Stretton View, off Buildwas Road, in Ironbridge, are also hoping to use pylons to connect the battery site to the National Grid system.

The site would be used in the short term to make sure electricity created by fossil fuels is not wasted.

It would then be used to store electricity when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow as fossil fuels are replaced by renewable sources of energy.

Planning agent Brownshore Management Ltd has submitted the case for the development with planners at Telford & Wrekin Council.

"The purpose of the development is to store power from the National Grid at times of excess supply, feeding it back into the system at times of high demand/reduced generation capacity.

"No energy will be produced on-site, nor would it result in aerial emissions during operation."

They add: "The development is referred to by National Grid as a “balancing service” as it would assist in balancing grid frequency at times of system stress. It would provide a flexible back-up power source to the grid and can respond rapidly to variations that result from local and national energy demand, alongside increasing fluctuations in generation resulting from an ever-greater use of intermittent renewable energy sources."

And on the pylon link the agent adds: "On the basis that the applicant may install the grid connection - noting other approvals are required - permission is being sought as part of this planning application.

"The connection, an overground - pylon - cable, would link to the National Grid’s Ironbridge Substation or its Shrewsbury Substation."

The development would have cabinets with power control units, transformers, and ring main unit, a substation within its own fenced compound, a switch room/control building, a communications cabinet and storage container. It would all be surrounded by palisade fencing, with matching gates, and CCTV cameras on monopoles.

Planning permission for the development is being sought for 30 years, following which the infrastructure would be removed, and the site restored to its present condition.

The site itself is outside the protected Ironbridge World Heritage Site, and the Ironbridge Conservation Area. But the developers say they must assess its impact.

They say: "For illustrative purposes, it is estimated that each facility will be of a similar size/scale to a standard 20ft ISO shipping container, which measures 5.9m long x 2.3m wide x 2.3m high. For a 30MW BSF, it is estimated 15 shipping containers equivalent of infrastructure are required."

A security company would be appointed to ensure that no one enters the site without authorisation by constantly monitoring and raising any alarms as necessary.

They add: "In short, the expectation is that industry will provide as much renewable energy capacity as swiftly as possible.

"In this context, Government policy clearly requires that significant weight should be given to the provision of renewable energy within any development.

"Moreover, the Energy White Paper makes it clear that local authorities should look favourably upon planning applications for renewable energy developments.

"On the basis that the development specifically seeks to assist in the deployment of renewable energy development it is also considered that local authorities should look favourably upon planning applications for Battery Storage Facilities which are a key element of these types of development."

In conclusion the applicant's agent says: "The impacts of the proposal have been shown to be minimal and therefore acceptable and, where necessary, mitigation measures have been set out to reduce potential impacts of the development.

"This proposal represents sustainable development and, as such, this planning application should be approved without delay."

The application is out for public consultation until March 27 and a target decision day of April 26.

To find out more visit Telford & Wrekin Council's planning website here:

The application reference number is TWC/2023/0144

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