Exagen gets nod for 500 MW / 1 GWh battery in Leicestershire, UK
UK renewable energy developer Exagen announced it had been granted planning permission for a 500 MW / 1 GWh grid-scale battery energy storage project in Leicestershire by the Blaby District Council.
The project, Normanton Energy Reserve, will be one of the largest such projects in Europe and serve the UK's National Grid. Once built, the battery facility will be able to power 235,000 homes – roughly 80 percent of the homes in Leicestershire – for two hours.
In a release, Exagen pointed out that the £270 million battery site was "about 10 times larger than most battery projects currently providing storage for the grid".
It pointed out that the UK is estimated to require up to 35 GW of storage capacity by 2050 to reach its net zero targets, while the Normanton Energy Reserve equates to about 1.4 percent of the requirement.
Jeremy Littman, CEO at Exagen Development, said: "For the UK to achieve its 2050 net zero target at the lowest possible cost, there needs to be an increase in electricity storage capacity to balance renewable energy generation. As more renewables are deployed, larger battery projects like Normanton will be required. It is vital that they are developed sensitively and in partnership with the local communities that host them. We've been guided by our local stakeholders to achieve consent for a significant infrastructure project that is unobtrusive and balances national need with local benefit. We'll work now to deliver this project into operation in that same spirit of partnership, and as an active and useful member of the local community."
The planning committee's approval for the Normanton Energy Reserve follows months of public consultation on plans for the site.Approximately 45 percent of the 19-acre site will be set aside to improve biodiversity by extending Normanton Millennium Wood and creating wildflower meadows. The project will deliver more than 25 percent biodiversity net gain, the company claimed.
Exagen also said it would establish a ~£4 million community fund to spend on improvements in the local area, with residents consulted on how the fund would be used.