September 23, 2021

Newyddion Cymru Ar-Lein : Wales News Online

Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

PLANS for an energy park to help de-carbonise the power supply while preventing blackouts could get the go-ahead next week in Swansea.
The facility would be built on grazing land near Felindre and comprise batteries, inverters and other equipment within a 109m by 100m compound.
Swansea Council’s planning committee will consider an officer recommendation for approval at a meeting on August 3.
Applicant Statkraft UK Ltd has described the proposal, which won’t generate any electricity of its own and take around 10 months to build, as a greener grid park.
A planning report said: “The proposal is essentially for an electricity storage and distribution facility which is designed to balance electricity demand and supply in order to prevent shortages and blackouts as a result of the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources, which, in the case of solar and wind energy, are dictated by weather conditions.”
Planning officers said the main issues to consider related to the principle of the development in the location, impacts upon visual amenity including the wider landscape, residential amenity, highway safety, and the environment.
Welsh Government policy said decision-makers must give significant weight to the need for Wales to meet climate change commitments and the target of generating 70% of its electricity by renewable means by 2030.
Major grid investment will be needed as heating, transport and power generation becomes de-carbonised, in turn ramping up demand for low-carbon electricity.
Proposals for new storage facilities should be supported wherever possible, according to planning policy.
Swansea planning officers said the proposed development “will clearly have a utilitarian appearance derived from the sheer scale of the main building” and the industrial appearance of the transformer units.
However, landscaping is proposed and adjacent to the site is an existing National Grid substation, gas compressor station, and overhead power lines.
The overall visual impact, said the officer report, would not be so significant as to recommend refusal of the application.
Consent has previously been granted by a UK minister for a gas-fired power station to the east of the site, including part of the access to the proposed development.
The company behind this approved project, Abergelli Power Ltd, has raised concerns about elements of the greener grid park.
But it said that the two projects could co-exist and share a new access road, subject to several matters being resolved.

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