Winning consent for energy storage on a Scottish farm

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.

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