How do you plan to manage construction of this project?+
Construction will be managed through a construction management plan. This plan will specify when the construction can be carried out, as well as how noise, dust, and surface water managed through the duration of the construction period.
A draft construction management plan can be submitted to the local authority at the planning submission stage, and a subsequent detailed construction management plan can be conditioned by the local authority. This means local residents will have an opportunity to comment on the construction method plan, and where required, suggest changes. The construction management plan, once approved by planning, can be enforced by the local planning authority.
How will the Site connect to the grid?+
Cabling will connect all equipment within the battery storage compound to the on-site customer substations. An additional run of underground cables will then connect the on-site customer substation to equipment located within the proposed new Substation Compound within the middle of the application site.
The site will then be connected to the existing Thorpe Marsh Electrical Substation located adjacent to the eastern boundary of the Site via cable trench and horizontal directional drill (HDD) under a small section of Thorpe Marsh Drain. Horizontal Directional Drilling is a guided method in which a pilot borehole is drilled along a pre-determined bore path. Subsequent hole enlargement follows the path set by the pilot bore, from the surface with minimum disturbance.
Why has Thorpe Marsh been chosen as a site for development?+
Battery energy storage schemes (BESSs) must be located proximate to an existing substation that has capacity to both export and import the requisite amount of electrical energy. There are a very limited number of substations in the UK that are both able to import and export electricity from the grid.
Also, in order to allow connection to the National Grid, there is a locational requirement for BESSs to be sited proximate to existing electrical substations. This is due to the need to minimise transition losses and ensure that the facility is well-located to provide rapid response to any dip in grid frequency and to remain viable in terms of the cost of grid connection. The Thorpe Marsh Site satisfies this second criteria, with Thorpe Marsh 400kV substation within 1km with capacity to accept the scale of the proposed Development. This will also avoid disturbance and activity associated with installing a long cable route
In addition, the Thorpe Marsh Site has a number of attributes which strongly support its suitability for the proposed Development. These include the potential for a rail connection due to the Site’s location directly adjacent to the main North South and East West cords, absence of any direct or indirect effects on heritage assets, and absence of any notable effects on amenity of residential properties in the vicinity of the Site due to existing screening.
Have you held any pre-planning discussions with the local council?+
Yes, pre-application advice has been sought from Doncaster Council during 2021 and 2022. We have listened to the feedback received and made appropriate changes to the proposal. We will continue to proactively work with the local authority and the community throughout this project.
What benefits will be provided to the local area and community?+
We are committed to delivering benefits to the local economy, environment and community. We want to work with the local community to shape the benefits this project can provide.
How will you minimise the impact of traffic on the local road network?+
We recognise that impacts on the local road networks are of upmost concern. We plan to construct a rail connection and on-site network of tracks to transport equipment and materials to minimise any impact on the local road network.
How will this project benefit the environment?+
Environmental net gains will be delivered through habitat creation and we will provide replacement habitats either on the site or somewhere else in the local area.
Why is Thorpe Marsh a suitable location for your proposals?+
Energy storage systems have a unique locational requirement to be positioned as close as possible to a national grid network connection. The proposed Thorpe Marsh Green Energy Hub is located adjacent to the existing Thorpe Marsh electrical substation to ensure that the system will be as efficient as possible. Its proximity also minimises environmental impacts by preventing the need for additional overhead cabling. The site is located outside of any local or national environmental designations and away from residential properties.
How do you manage the environmental impacts of your proposals?+
A construction and environmental management plan will set out all the measures we would use to ensure any impacts are avoided/minimised, all of which will be included in the planning application for the project.
Why is this project needed?+
Providing grid stability is a key element of achieving net zero. This very large battery storage facility will help the grid to balance out and better utilise the renewable energy generation being constructed across the country (some of it by Banks Renewables). Being located next to a national grid supply point also provides extra benefits as we don’t need to route new large cables over long distances.
What does a 2.8GW battery site look like?+
This will depend on the technology available when we come to buy the battery units. Technology is continually evolving to respond to the increasing market appetite for commercial battery units. Each battery will be contained in either a 20 or 40 ft shipping style container. These will be connected via cables and inverters to form a large scale battery. Based on available technology each of the containers could provide 2MW of storage that could discharge over a two hour period. It is anticipated that by the time the project is constructed, technology would have developed, and more storage capability be available per container.
How many jobs will be created?+
A project of this size will create a wide variety of job opportunities from professional and ancillary services to construction jobs such as plant operators, electricians, plumbers and many more. The eventual scale of the project will determine how many jobs could be created and we will provide more detail on those opportunities as the project progresses.
How safe is the green energy hub?+
Energy storage systems are a safe technology with many smaller scale projects operating across the UK already. There are no fumes and very few materials that pose a threat to humans or wildlife. The main safety consideration relates to fire risk. This development will adhere to strict fire safety regulations with fire detection and active suppression technology in each of the containers to effectively manage this risk.
Will the new electrical infrastructure on the site emit any noise?+
The cooling units that help to maintain a constant temperature for the battery and inverter units emit a low level of noise as do the transformers in the sub-station. This noise will be carefully assessed and the units would be acoustically insulated to ensure noise levels are acceptable at closest residential properties to the development.
What do the batteries look like?+
The eventual configuration of equipment will be specified once the battery units are purchased, typically the batteries will be housed in a shipping container with a cooling unit (small metal box) mounted to the side.