Heysham renewable energy store plan for former oil refinery

Wind farm at sea near Blackpool

The facility would store power generated by wind farms and other renewable sources

A former oil refinery site could be turned into a green electricity storage facility.

Developers want to build the 100 MWh energy storage facility and substation near Heysham in Lancashire.

It would store power generated by wind-farms, solar panels, and tidal power, for supply to the national grid when needed.

A report to Lancaster City Council said renewable electricity would be “key” for the UK to deliver net-zero by 2050.

Infrabalance New Energy has proposed facilities including storage and battery equipment, control rooms, a welfare cabin for workers, fencing and CCTV cameras.

Another planning application had been submitted for the battery storage site itself.

The land, located south of Middleton Road, is part of the Heysham Gateway regeneration project and parts of it include landfill sites, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

It is close to Heysham nuclear power station and Heysham Port, which is a supply base for major offshore gas fields and wind farms.

Land and marine-based engineering, technology and skills are seen as important to the area’s future economic development, including green power and jobs.

A report to the planning committee said the proposal was “a departure from the adopted development plan” for the area but recognised that “there is a need for this type of development which should be taken into consideration”.

“Renewable electricity is essential to enable the UK to meet its commitments under legislation. Energy storage technology is recognised as being key to delivering the path to net-zero by 2050”, it added.

The site is near natural habitats of importance including the River Lune estuary, Morecambe Bay, and Middleton Nature Reserve which attract bird life and great crested newts.

Conservation authority Natural England has agreed with a wildlife study that the project would not significantly impact on the protected nature sites and has granted a provisional licence linked to newts.

Planning officers have recommended that councillors approve the plan but delegate it back to officers to finalise details about obligations on the developer.

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