Persley Croft BESS will be able to store and release energy from the network. It will have a storage capacity of up to 49.9MW.

Persley Croft is likely to comprise:

  • battery storage units;
  • inverters and transformers;
  • two substations;
  • office accommodation and welfare facilities;
  • car parking;
  • perimeter fencing; and
  • landscape buffers.

Constructing these components is anticipated to last nine months and include:

  • clearance, demolition of existing buildings, and levelling;
  • laying concrete pads and other hard surfacing;
  • arranging and connecting battery units, most of which will be pre-fabricated;
  • erecting fencing, gate, and CCTV; and
  • installing transformers, inverters, and connecting to the Grid.

Current Condition

The proposed development will replace these dilapidated buildings with tidier, structurally sound features. Views into the site will be screened by planting new trees and shrubs along the boundary with the A92.

Photomontages

We have two sets of three, computer-generated images below that illustrate what the site will look like from the A92 looking southwest, the first (Brown Fencing) was presented at our first consultation event. Post this, we have taken your comments into consideration which has lead to a slightly different design. This is shown in the second set of images.

Site Safety

The planning application will include an Outline Battery Safety Management Plan explaining the safety features of the BESS and the planned response to emergency events.

Battery storage technology is continuously evolving, as are the regulations and guidance on the safe operation of a BESS. Whilst the design is based on the latest regulations, our team will continue to review the regulations and the manufacturers’ guidelines to ensure that the design continues to meet the best practice for the design and operation.

Persley Croft BESS Ltd will minimise fire risk by:

  • Including automatic fire detection and suppression systems in the facility design;
  • Use of fire-resistant materials, and separation between elements of the BESS according to safety regulations;
  • Procuring components that comply with all relevant legislation, industry standards and best practice guidance; and
  • Installing SCADA (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition) for automatic monitoring and control.

Our team is engaging with the Local Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) to ensure they have an adequate Emergency Response Plan in place once the project is operational.

The BESS compound will be enclosed by palisade security fencing and a secure access gate will be provided at the entrance.

CCTV will also be installed to allow for 24 hour remote monitoring.

 Additional Fire Safety Information added in response to our first public consultation event on 11/5/23

Question Answer 
How dangerous is the Battery Storage site? How likely is a battery fire?   Battery energy storage systems (BESS) are safe facilities. We work hard throughout site design, construction and into operation to ensure the safety of our sites and we will continue to develop this throughout the finalisation of the design.     The batteries we will use at the site have been chosen for their best-in-class fire safety performance and will be compliant with all relevant fire safety standards including UL9540A and NFPA 855. The batteries are individual units (rather than traditional containerised solutions which look more like a Portakabin); this ensures that any potential fault is contained within the unit and does not spread through the rest of the site, thereby minimising the risk of propagation.    Several forms of fire prevention have also been built into the design e.g. appropriate spacing of equipment, inclusion of fireproof barriers between rows of batteries and automatic fire detection and suppression systems.    We are also in contact with the local fire and rescue service to ensure a suitable emergency response procedure is in place.    
How have you selected this site?   Our site selection process started by searching for a viable grid connection. There are several steps to follow before securing a connection, including:   Identifying an area within the network with suitable import and export capacity;  Requesting an initial review from the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) with indicative costs of the connection potential; and  Formally applying to the DNO and securing a connection offer.      All BESS schemes are ‘grid-led’; it is only possible to consider alternative sites within the vicinity of an available grid connection.      We have completed an alternative site assessment report which is an evaluation of any potential alternative sites that could accommodate the development, with focus given to the availability of previously developed land, designated sites in the adopted Aberdeen Local Development Plan or land located outside of the Aberdeen Green Belt within the defined area of search. The area of search covers a 2km radius from the substation connection point.  Within this area, the proposed site is the only suitable and available site for the development.      The full report will be available as part of our planning application when submitted.    
How would you fight a Fire?   The facility will employ automatic fire detection and suppression, as well as being constantly monitored and with other monitoring and safety systems. An incident plan will be in place following good practice. On fire access, the site is well served by fire mains and suitable road access.   
What mitigation have you put in place to prevent a Fire? And what safety standards are in place?   Field requires all its BESS suppliers to comply with the National Fire Protection Association’s regulations (NFPA 68 and NFPA 855). Whilst these regulations are not primary legislation in the UK, they incorporate learning from incidents that have occurred and are considered the best available guides to the design of BESS installations.     The primary fire safety standard for battery cells and modules  is UL9540A, the leading industry standard for the minimisation of the likelihood of thermal runaway propagation. To positively pass these tests, the batteries need to show no propagation of thermal runaway between cells, modules and racks. All cells, modules and racks to be installed at the proposed BESS site will have passed the UL9540A evaluations for thermal runaway fire propagation.    The development is compliant with minimum separation distances between battery racks, and also between switchgear and batteries, as defined by industry minimum standards. Each battery rack will have its own in-built fire suppression, adequate ventilation to control the temperature and in-built early warning smoke and heat detectors. The inclusion of these fire safety prevention and mitigation systems as part of the project design ensures that nearby residences are not at risk.     Field can confirm it will ensure the risk of fire is minimised by:   Procuring components and use construction techniques which comply with all relevant legislation;   Including automatic fire detection and suppression systems in the development design;  Including redundancy in the design to provide multiple layers of protection;   Designing the development to contain and restrict the spread of fire through the use of fire-resistant materials, and adequate separation between elements of the BESS; and  Developing a Risk and Emergency Preparedness Assessment in consultation with the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS).     Further detail on Field’s approach to safety management of the site and the BESS technology choice will be provided as part of a Battery Fire Safety Management Plan which will be submitted with the planning application.   
Would there be any contaminants or gases released by a fire? The BESS technology that Field will employ has been tested according to the relevant fire safety standard UL9540A.     This technology has been designed, tested and proven to prevent thermal runaway events i.e. if there was a fire within one cell it would not then spread to adjacent cells. Appropriate spacing of equipment and inclusion of fire barriers between rows of batteries also means fire would not propagate between.     Should an individual battery module go into thermal runaway, a small amount of gas would be released into the atmosphere. This would be comprised of a mixture of hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen. However, such a small volume would be quickly dissipated and would not result in a gas cloud.   
Have you spoken to the Fire Service?   Yes, we’re engaging with them on this already to ensure the design is suitable. We will work with them to ensure that a robust incident plan is in place and that suitable access and facilities are available.    The Fire Chief’s council recently (23rd April 2023) released renewed guidance for Fire and rescue services on how to approach BESS sites. The guidance stresses the importance of early engagement and consultation with the local fire and rescue services which we are already undertaking.   

Work is currently underway on a range of technical reports to support the planning submission. The outcome and recommendations of these reports will inform the design of the scheme.

Planning Application Documents

  • Landscape and visual
    impact assessment

    This has helped determine the maximum height of the development, the position of equipment, and to minimise the effect of the development on the surrounding area.
  • Heritage and archaeology assessment
    A initial heritage assessment has been undertaken which identified no constraints in terms of built heritage and setting. The existing buildings within the Site are modern and in a state of disrepair and are not considered to be of heritage significance.
  • Construction traffic assessment
    and management plan

    Whilst some construction traffic will be generated as the development is built, vehicle movements will be limited to occasional monitoring and maintenance visits following completion. The Site benefits from a suitable existing access point off the A92 and vehicles will exit by left turns only.
  • Arboriculture survey A tree survey has been undertaken for the Site which has found the majority of the trees are in such a condition where they cannot realistically be retained as living trees. Remaining trees will be retained where possible. If tree removal is required, this will be mitigated through replacement planting along the boundaries as part of a comprehensive landscaping scheme.
  • Flood risk assessment and surface water management survey
    The Site is not located in an area identified as at risk from fluvial or surface water sources. A surface water drainage strategy is being developed which will ensure that there is no increase of surface water runoff over current baseline conditions and surface water will be attenuated appropriately. Therefore, we are able to demonstrate the proposals would not increase flood risk at the Site or the surrounding area.
  • Ecological Impact Assessment
    An Ecological Impact Assessment has been undertaken which confirms on-site habitats provide limited opportunities for foraging and commuting bats but provide a suitable habitat for other local species such as mammals, nesting birds, and common reptiles. As such, appropriate mitigation measures are proposed both during and post construction. These include supervised clearance works by a qualified ecologist, appropriate landscape planting, installation of bird / bat boxes, and mammal holes within fencing.
  • Noise
    Initial noise measurements have been undertaken in relation to the proposed development. Appropriate mitigation measures will be included as part of the scheme, likely through the inclusion of an acoustic fence. This is to ensure the amenity of nearby residential properties is respected.