Large energy storage projects to bypass national planning system under new rules:
https://www.endsreport.com/article/1689 ... -new-rules
Conor McGlone 14 Jul 2020
The government today announced it will relax planning legislation to make it easier to construct large batteries to store renewable energy across England and Wales.
BEIS said removing barriers for energy storage projects, â€œwhich are discouraging bolder investment decisions in larger battery facilitiesâ€�, could treble the number of batteries serving the electricity grid. There is currently 4GW of storage projects in the planning pipeline, which could power a combined 6 million homes, in addition to the 1GW of battery storage already in operation. Todayâ€™s move will see ministers introduce secondary legislation to remove barriers for storage projects above 50MW in England and 350MW in Wales, meaning that over 100 large-scale batteries could now be built. The legislation removes electricity storage - except pumped hydro - from the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) regime in England and Wales. This means the primary consenting route for electricity storage in England will be under the Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) 1990.
In Wales, planning decisions for electricity storage of any size will generally be consented by the relevant local planning authority under the TCPA regime, whereas currently, this is only the case for electricity storage below 350 MW. BEIS initially proposed keeping the limits in place following a consultation in January 2019 but reversed its decision after the industry warned said planning restrictions would drive up costs and stifle investment.
The government notes that the UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world and battery storage is critical to ensuring the UK has a constant source of renewable energy. BEIS also said energy storage had played â€œa key role in balancing the UKâ€™s electricity system during the 20% drop in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring what was produced was used efficientlyâ€�. Kwasi Kwarteng, the energy and clean growth minister, said: â€œRemoving barriers in the planning system will help us build bigger and more powerful batteries, creating more green-collar jobs and a smarter electricity network.â€�