Plans for an innovative new energy generation and storage facility on Teesside have been submitted to Stockton Borough Council.

North East employer The Banks Group is looking to invest around £3.5m in developing a Flexible Energy Park on the Bowesfield Crescent Industrial Estate in Stockton-on-Tees, which will include a natural gas/hydrogen “peaker plant” and an electricity storage battery.

After undertaking a range of public consultation work around the proposed scheme, the family-owned firm has now finalised the design and is hoping to get a decision from the Borough Council’s planning committee in the first few months of 2021.

The Banks Group was the original developer of the Bowesfield site, a unique mixed-use site on the banks of the River Tees in Stockton which includes an integrated 15-hectare wildlife conservation area.

The proposed site for the energy park has been chosen due to its good infrastructure links and access to Northern Powergrid’s electricity network, and is well screened by fencing, wild brambles and other plants.

As part of its public consultation work around the proposal, the County Durham-headquartered firm set up a webinar to allow the Bowesfield project team to present the details of the proposed energy park and to enable local people to ask them questions about different aspects of its development.

A recording of the webinar remains available on the dedicated project webpage to allow anyone who couldn’t attend on the day to find out what was discussed.

Mark Rowcroft, technical manager at The Banks Group, says: “Peaker plants and battery storage will play an important part in the UK’s continuing journey to Net Zero by providing greater security of energy supply which in turn allows more renewable generation onto the network.

“Our plans have attracted a lot of interest from across the local community and we’re pleased with the levels of engagement that we’ve managed to secure despite the difficult current situation for everyone.

“Having already invested in creating something unique at Bowesfield, we’re now hoping to be able to invest in delivering another significant new scheme in our home region and we hope the members of Stockton Borough Council’s planning committee will recognise the many benefits that it would bring to the local area.”