Plans unveiled for massive battery facility in Norfolk to store renewable solar and wind energy

ANGLIA 170222 offshore wind farm PA
The proposed battery storage facility could be used to store wind and solar energy. Credit: PA

A massive battery facility to store electricity created from solar or wind farms could be built in the East Anglian countryside.

Developers have unveiled plans for a Greener Grid Park at Necton in Norfolk - in hopes that it can help cut the country's reliance on fossil fuels.

The site for the proposal is next to the Necton Substation, on land south of the A47.

If the plan goes through, there could be dozens of battery cabinets on the site - resembling agricultural barns or shipping containers. It could also have large machines that can regulate the voltage going into the National Grid, ensuring a steady supply of power.

Currently, at times of low wind or when there is not enough sunshine, fossil fuel generators are fired up to generate enough electricity.

The battery storage plan is meant to ensure this is no longer needed.

The site for the proposed battery storage facility, next to the Necton Substation, on land south of the A47. Credit: Google Maps

The batteries could store electricity produced from renewable energy sites like Vattenfall's offshore windfarms.

Statkraft, the company behind the latest project, is Europe’s largest generator of green energy.

How big the project will be has not yet been revealed, with a planning application expected to be submitted to Breckland Council in the summer.

If approved, construction is expected to take around 18 months.

A battery storage facility in Burwell, Cambridgeshire Credit: ITV Anglia

The Necton Greener Grid Park is just one of a number of large scale energy projects planned for the Norfolk countryside, with battery projects approved for Swardeston and Dunston.

But fire chiefs have voiced concerns over the lithium-ion devices – which can be extremely difficult to extinguish if they catch fire.

Experts say the risk of fires is low, but when the batteries fail or overheat, they release flammable toxic gases that can spark fast-spreading fires.

Statkraft has promised to implement procedures and plans for emergency situations.

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