Bid for major new battery facility to help store surplus electricity

A proposed new 17 mega watt battery storage facility will help stabilise supply to the electricity grid, according to a planning application submitted to Derry City & Strabane District Council.

By Kevin Mullan
Friday, 10th June 2022, 10:41 am

Heron Storage Ltd. have applied for permission to develop the Battery Energy Storage Facility (BESS) on vacant lands south east of the Seagate Technology plant off the Buncrana Road.

“The proposal is for an essential piece of infrastructure that helps strengthen and support the electricity grid by stablising the supply of energy from renewable sources,” a supporting statement from TSA Planning explains.

The developers say the battery facility chimes with stated regional government policy of sourcing at least 70 per cent of energy from renewables by 2030.

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A proposed new battery plant will facilitate the shift from usage of fossil fuels for power/electricity.

As the planning statement notes batteries are seen as essential reservoirs of power, both that which is generated from renewables and that derived from other sources.

“The BESS converts and stores surplus supply and returns it to the grid at time of low output or peak demand, helping to meet the strategic objective of the Regional Development Strategy (RDS) and Strategic Planning Policy Statement (SPPS),” the TSA submission states.

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The infrastructure, if it is eventually approved by the DC&SDC planning committee, would help to provide an important storage option for surplus energy.

“With regards to what a BESS facility is, and how they operate, these are designed as a component of the wider National Electricity Grid used to stablise its supply.

“As there continues to be a growing shift away from usage of fossil fuels for power/electricity generation, BESS’ are being increasingly utilised to store the electricity generated from renewable energy sources; such as wind turbines and solar panels, and discharging this electricity back into the grid when there is a deficit of generation; or when demand is high.

“BESS facilities are becoming more readily recognised as an essential element of our electricity network, particularly in relation to the deployment of renewable energy generation across the electricity grid.

“In the future, electricity will be increasingly used for transport, heating, and other activities,” TSA states.

The application also includes proposals for a switch and control room, lighting and closed circuit TV columns, new site boundary fencing, new access, and ancillary development works.

Consultations have been issued.