energy storage scotland

Energy storage development on Scottish farm


energy storage scotland

Project overview

Client: Harmony Energy
Location: Abernethy, Perth and Kinross
Sector: Energy
Project status: Planning approved

PWA was retained by Harmony Energy to seek planning consent for an energy storage facility over two phases on a Scottish farm.



What we did

Planning permission was secured in 2017 for phase 1 of the development, a 30MW energy storage facility. In 2019, PWA secured planning consent for phase 2, a 19MW energy storage facility.

We then continued to assist Harmony to achieve the discharge of planning conditions associated with the development, which were approved in 2021.

The site was located on an organic farm, close to an existing wind turbine connected with the farm shop and restaurant on the wider site. It was considered technically and financially viable for energy storage because it provided access to existing electricity infrastructure and because the District Network Operator could accommodate the flow of electricity in both directions.

However, because of the scenic location, the local council needed to be persuaded that the energy storage scheme would be acceptable and not harm landscape character or visual amenity. The landscaping proposals therefore included a 4m wide native planting belt around the site perimeter to help screen the infrastructure.

As well as establishing the principle of development, the planning application was able to demonstrate how the development’s essential grid balancing services would actively contribute towards Scotland’s carbon reduction targets.

Planning consent was achieved for both phases of development and we also advised our client on the sign-off of pre-commencement conditions which involved negotiations on the landscaping scheme.

Solar farm planning application

60 hectare solar farm, Yorkshire


Solar farm planning application

Project overview

Client: Harmony Energy
Location: Driffield, East Yorkshire
Sector: Energy
Project status: Planning approved

PWA Planning advised client Harmony Energy on the creation of a ground-mounted development of solar arrays in a rural location, capable of generating 30MW of renewable energy.



What we did

Harmony Energy specialises in the development and operation of solar energy developments and utility-scale energy storage projects across the UK.

Having built a long-term partnership with the company advising on many of its energy storage projects, PWA was appointed to help Harmony develop a planning strategy for a large scale solar energy development in East Yorkshire.

The proposed site comprised several fields of low-grade agriculutrual land located near the village of Skerne, south of the town of Driffield.

PWA managed the entire planning application for the development, including pre-application discussions with the local authority. These discussions established the relevant planning policy context, namely the site’s location in open countryside and the authority’s support for the principle of sustainable development and specifically energy development.

The pre-application response identified the various technical and environmental issues which the planning submission would need to address, including design, landscape and visual amenity, residential amenity, nature conservation, heritage, highway safety, minerals safeguarding, the impact on Public Rights of Way and drainage.

PWA’s planning application provided all the relevant supporting information on these technical considerations and responded directly to all the requirements set out by the local planning authority.

The scheme was subsequently approved at planning committee. The proposed development was for almost 100,000 solar panels, arranged in over 5,000 strings of varying lenghts. The development is capable of generating enough energy to power the equivalent of 8,000 homes each year and has a proposed lifespan of 40 years.

 

 

Energy Storage planning

Energy storage scheme close to historic York


Energy Storage planning

Project overview

Client: Arenko Group
Location: Osbaldwick, North Yorkshire
Sector: Energy
Project status: Planning approved

London-headquartered energy optimisation specialist Arenko appointed PWA to seek planning approval for a new energy storage facility in North Yorkshire.



What we did

The proposed site for the facility was a one-hectare parcel of land next to a National Grid substation and close to the village of Osbaldwick, York.

The facility would provide 49.9MW of battery storage to provide an optimal service to the National Grid at the lowest possible cost, facilitating a cleaner and more efficient energy system.

During the planning process, we were able to demonstrate to the planning authority that existing tree screening afforded to the site, the infrastructure associated with the adjacent substation, and the fact that the site is not within or near a protected landscape, meant there would be no material adverse landscape and visual impacts associated with the development.

There were several technical issues to overcome, including proximity to trees, requirements for additional drainage work and the potential for ecological issues. An ecological assessment was undertaken and proposals for native species planting and other mitigation measures to protect wildlife were identified.

We were able to demonstrate that the proposed development would comply with emerging local planning policy, national planning policy and government thinking on low carbon technologies. Planning consent was secured for the site in March 2020.

Energy storage scheme

Bedfordshire energy storage scheme


Energy storage scheme

Project overview

Client: Harmony Energy
Location: Luton, Bedfordshire
Sector: Energy
Project status: Planning approved

PWA was instructed by Harmony Energy to provide pre-application and planning advice for an energy storage scheme in the Bedfordshire Green Belt near Luton.



What we did

The proposed site was on land at a farm adjacent to the M1 near the village of Chalton. It was chosen for energy storage because it provided existing electrical infrastructure immediately adjacent, making it technically and financially feasible.

The proposed development consisted of 77 banks of energy storage units and 20 transformers, together with ancillary equipment, with a footprint of around 1.06 hectares. The proposals included native hedgerow planting around the perimeter of the site to soften the appearance of the development.

Because of the green belt location of the site, there was significant local opposition. Our role, therefore, was to convince the LPA that the benefits of the scheme outweighed any harm to the Green Belt. The application was supported with various assessments, including a landscape and visual impact assessment, to demonstrate that harm was limited.

With a storage capacity of 49.5MW, the facility would save 15,543 tonnes of carbon emissions each year and provide vital grid balancing services to the National Grid. PWA also argued that the ‘very special circumstances’ which justified approving this development within the Green Belt also included the benefits to energy security and the increase in efficiency of renewable energy utilisation.

PWA was also able to demonstrate that the development represented sustainable development and complied with local planning policy, the National Planning Policy Framework, and other relevant considerations. Planning permission was secured in January 2019 with members of Central Bedfordshire Council’s Planning Committee voting in favour of the scheme in line with the officer’s recommendation.

PWA is working to discharge pre-commencement planning conditions on this scheme.

Energy storage project in London’s green belt


Project overview

Client: Harmony Energy Storage
Location: London, Borough of Havering
Sector: Energy
Project status: Planning approved


What we did


PWA Planning has helped gain a planning consent for an innovative energy storage project in London’s green belt.

Working on behalf of Harmony Energy, PWA Planning advised on a planning application for a 49.5MW energy storage facility on land at Clay Tye Farm, Upminster.

The scheme, in London borough of Havering just inside the M25, would connect to the nearby Warley National Grid electricity substation, providing vital grid balancing services to help manage supply and demand.

The scheme was one of a number energy storage projects around the UK for which PWA Planning has advised Harmony Energy Storage. PWA Planning was able to put forward a robust planning submission which demonstrated the overwhelming benefits of the project and addressed concerns over size and scale of the development, and the impact on the openness of the green belt.

Despite previous applications for renewable energy schemes on the land being turned down, the proposed scheme was approved at committee.


What our client said

“We’re delighted to receive planning permission on our largest energy storage site. Louise and her team at PWA have delivered an excellent service throughout the process.”

Peter Kavanagh, director, Harmony Energy Storage