Batteries are seen as key components for decarbonising the economy
Batteries are are used on the UK power grids to provide balancing services and store excess electricity generation for use when needed. Their storage ability creates a more reliable, flexible, and greener grid. They offer environmental, geopolitical, and economic opportunities to the UK’s electricity network.
The proposed battery infrastructure will enable the storage of up to 49.9MW of energy, equivalent to a full day’s energy consumption for over 10,000 homes. Our ability to capture and store home-grown renewable energy is of increasing environmental and geopolitical importance. In the words of Dame Maria Miller Conservative MP:
“By releasing energy into the power grids when it is required, these batteries shift peaks of supply to match demand, providing us with renewable electricity even when the air is still and the skies are grey” (September 2022)
This ability to store excess electricity until demand is high or renewable output is low is essential for intermittent renewable energy sources. Storage ability also shields us from risks such as blackouts, gas shortages, and other threats to international energy supplies.
Aberdeen City Council recognises and is responding to the challenge of climate change. In October 2021 it became a formal signatory to the United Nations Race to Zero Campaign pledging to recognise the global climate emergency and commit to inclusive climate action. In March 2023 it declared a climate and nature emergency. Its Council Climate Change Plan 2021-2025 commits to trialling battery storage as part of its transition to locally produced renewable energy sources / low carbon technology to supply remaining energy needs. The Local Plan strongly supports the transition away from fossil fuels through its Climate Change Mitigation policy.
|The UK Government’s ambitions
|The role of batteries
|– Reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 (compared to 1990 levels)
– Reach net-zero emissions by 2050
– Decarbonise electricity generation mix by 2035
– At least double our supply of electricity by 2050
– Add storage across all energy vectors, of which batteries might need to provide 20-35% (a lower limit of 40GW)
|– Contribute to the UK’s goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
– Facilitate the use of low-carbon energy sources, particularly intermittent renewables
– Improve efficiency of energy systems
– Reduce our current dependence on fossil fuels
– Invigorate domestic research and development
– Expand our industries and manufacturing abilities, which will be necessary to avoid becoming reliant on imported technologies
– Prevent increasing amounts of renewable energy being wasted
– Improve energy security
– Reduce risk of blackouts
|– Regenerate a derelict piece of land
– Biodiversity enhancements leading to a richer mix of species (fauna and flora)
– Creates local job opportunities during construction
– Landscaping to screen views into the Site
– Sensitive design to prevent any harm to nearby residents, businesses, and wildlife
Mitigation and Amenity Improvements
Appropriate mitigation measures will be incorporated during and after construction. These include supervised clearance works by a qualified ecologist, appropriate landscape planting, installation of bird / bat boxes, and mammal holes within fencing.
An acoustic fence will protect the amenity of nearby residents to ensure that once the site is operational there are no adverse noise impacts. The fence will be located along the eastern boundary of the site to protect the properties located to the east of the A92. The final specifications of the acoustic fencing are currently being prepared following discussions with Aberdeen City Council’s Environmental Health team.
Landscape and visual
To improve biodiversity and screen the site from view, native trees and shrubs will be planted along boundaries. We are currently considering the following tree and shrub mix as recommended by our landscape team:
- Betula pendula – Silver birch
- Betula pubescens – Downy birch
- Cratageus monogyna – Common hawthorn
- Corylus avellana – Common hazel
- Malus sylvestris – European crab apple
- Rosa Canina – Dog-rose
As well as providing screening and enhancing the visual appearance of the site, the additional planting will offer increased biodiversity and habitat for local wildlife.