Berwickshire battery storage plant gets the green light

Storage system is 'much-needed' v.1
The battery plant will be installed close to Eccles substation.The battery plant will be installed close to Eccles substation.
The battery plant will be installed close to Eccles substation.

A new battery storage plant in Berwickshire which will contribute to the drive towards net zero emissions has received the blessing of a planning committee.

A bid had been submitted to Scottish Borders Council for the construction and operation of a battery electrical storage system facility on two fields west of Eccles Substation at Coldstream.

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Members of the council’s Planning and Building Standards Committee agreed to give the plant the go-ahead when they met this week.

The applicant, Eccles Grid Stability Limited, is now to construct 40 battery units arranged in 10 blocks of four on the site, in addition to ten 11kV transformers and power conversion blocks, a substation, switch and maintenance rooms and surrounding security fencing.

The development will not generate electricity, instead, it provides a location where it can be imported, stored and exported to meet the demands of the grid network.

Mid-Berwickshire councillor Donald Moffat expressed concern that local residents would face additional noise from the operation, added to that they already face from a local sawmill.

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Hawick and Denholm councillor Neil Richards also raised the issue of loss of agricultural land, although the site has not been in use for many years.

But members were informed that there had been no objections to the application from people in the locality.

Committee chair, Kelso & District councillor Simon Mountfield, said: “This is an important piece of infrastructure and the fact that there is a major sub-station at Eccles means that is going to be a magnet for this kind of battery development in the future and we need battery storage as renewables become a bigger part of our energy mix, you have got to store it somewhere and it’s going to be stored near a sub-station.”

In recommending approval, Scott Shearer, SBC’s chief planning officer, said: “The development would contribute towards meeting Scottish Government national energy targets and the transition towards net zero.

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“The proposal would result in some minor landscape and visual impacts but these will be localised and will not result in unacceptable adverse impacts, subject to suitable landscaping/boundary treatments and agreement of the final appearance of the equipment.”