Energy Storage unit proposed in field at Rock Farm, Ludford

Energy Reservoir 13 Ltd is hoping to build an electricity storage unit on green fields near Lower Ledwyche. A storage system is a good idea. But why isn’t it being built alongside the existing substation rather than in a green field?

OST Energy has applied to Shropshire Council for permission for energy storage system (ESS) with a capacity for storing up to 20 MW of electricity on land at Rock Farm. The development will be the back of Lower Ledwyche Farm, just off the Eco Park (16/03863/FUL). It is close the former route of the Shropshire Way.

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OST Energy says:

The proposed development is an Energy Storage System (ESS) which would allow the storage of up to 20 MW of electrical energy in batteries housed in up to 10 containers on a greenfield site. The scheme is designed to provide real-time grid stabilisation to the local area, allowing excess electricity generated from a variety of renewable and conventional sources to be stored in the batteries during times of low-demand. This stored capacity can then be fed back into the grid during times of peak demand, which can coincide with times of low generation (early mornings and evenings).

The proposed ESS will form part of a national effort, across multiple locations located near to appropriate electricity infrastructure to provide electricity to National Grid at times of peak demand.

The ESS will have up to ten 40 ft (12.2 m) shipping containers with ancillary units. They will be surrounded by a 2.4 metre high acoustic fence. This will be surrounded by a 3 metre high wooden acoustic fence. Three metre high hedges will be planted on the north and west sides to screen the site.

Electricity will be transferred to the site from the substation on Squirrel Lane via underground cables. The site will be accessed during construction and maintenance along a 1.4km access track from the A4117 through Rock Farm.

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The planning application says the land is currently arable. That’s wrong. It has been under pasture for a very long while.

My reaction to this application is that a storage system is a good idea. But why isn’t it being built alongside the existing substation? There is an existing yard area on the site and adjacent rough ground to the north. This would save building in a green field and remove the need for the lengthy access road.

Over the next few decades, it is expected that Ludlow’s housing development will be concentrated between Rocks Green and the Eco Park. I am not sure we should be considering industrial facilities and long access tracks until we have established how this area should be developed.

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