Yorkshire village could be ‘flooded’ with batteries as storage facility is approved
Aura Power has obtained permission for the installation of 0.7 hectares in the village of Drax, 600 meters from its huge power station.
George Wilyman, head of planning at Aura Power, told Selby advisers that one of the downsides of renewables is that power generation cannot be controlled to match customer demand.
The batteries will store electricity in times of high production and return it to the grid in times of increased demand, via a connection to the power station.
“It will also contribute significantly to the UK’s ambition to achieve energy security,” he added. “The alternative is to generate electricity from diesel, gas or hydroelectricity in times of high demand.”
The development application was brought before the councilors because 20 people had lodged objections.
Among them was parish councilor Diane Hall, who said in a statement read to the planning committee: “Drax is a rural village despite the size of the power station – residents would like that to continue. The planned site for the storage facility is not the right one.
“Ukraine – the breadbasket of Europe – is currently under siege. In the UK, therefore, we need every acre of agricultural land available for food production.
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She highlighted the negative impact she believed the facility would have on local residents and businesses, including a local stable and cattery.
Councilor Charles Richardson said: ‘I find this proposal frankly inconceivable in this place. I think this destroys several neighboring properties, all of which already have to live with Drax and are overshadowed by the daily noise and scale of Drax every day.
Councilor Ian Chilvers added: ‘It’s totally out of step with Drax. It’s a very small village, a hamlet really – it would go well with the power station itself. Why not move it to the power plant site? »
Advisors have been told that five other battery installations have either been approved or have plans submitted for approval in and around Drax.
Councilor John Mackman said: ‘At some point the cumulative impact is going to be a big issue because Selby District ultimately doesn’t want to be overwhelmed – it didn’t want to be overwhelmed with wind farms and he does not. I also don’t want to be overwhelmed with piles.
But he said each proposal should be taken on its own merits and he would support it.
Councilor John Cattanach added: “I think these types of storage facilities are going to become more and more common because that’s how we evolve.”
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