Anesco given green light for 50 MW storage facility

Plans to install an energy storage facility near Rothienorman have been given the green light.

The battery storage facility will be built close to Rothienorman
The battery storage facility will be built close to Rothienorman

UK-based renewable energy firm Anesco applied to Aberdeenshire Council seeking permission to create the 50MW facility near Mains of Blackford farm.

The site is the first one to be developed by Anesco in Scotland and forms part of more than 440 MW of new solar and storage projects the company currently has at the planning or ready to build stage in the UK.

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Situated on low grade agricultural land, the site is in close proximity to Rothienorman substation. Once complete, the battery energy storage system will comprise of 15 battery rows.

It will offer flexibility services to National Grid, helping balance energy supply and demand and supporting the UK’s transition to renewable energy.

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The installation will have a lifespan of 40 years after which time the land will be returned to its natural state.

Significant ecological enhancements will be made to the site, achieving a biodiversity net gain of almost 50 percent.

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This will include planting of native trees along boundaries and down the length of the east side of the build site and the creation of a wildflower meadow. The remainder of the site will also be retained for agricultural use.

Members of the Formartine area committee met on Tuesday last week to consider the proposal.

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Senior project developer at Anesco, Laura Murphy, spoke at the meeting and told councillors that this was the most appropriate location for the development.

She said the Rothienorman site would provide enhanced energy storage capacity across Aberdeenshire and beyond.

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Ms Murphy also said it would give “efficient storage and release of renewable energy in accordance with the National Grid to stop blackouts”.

She added: “It will increase the potential for renewable energy generation across Scotland which will have wider positive impacts on the environment and economy.

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"The site will generate significant benefits by aiding the transition to clean energy whilst ensuring the quality and security of energy supply in Scotland is not compromised.”

Turriff and District councillor Alastair Forsyth welcomed the proposal: “This kind of equipment will aid our resilience to outages and offer the ability to prop up the grid when necessary.

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“Here is an operation where that generation of electricity surplus to requirement on the grid can be then stored and used at a later date.”

The committee unanimously agreed to approve the application.

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Mark Futyan, Anesco CEO, said: “We’re delighted to receive approval for the Rothienorman battery site.

“Energy storage has a vital role to play in the UK’s transition energy network, providing the flexibility needed to support the growing number of clean power sources.

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"As with all our sites, biodiversity is a key focus and we will be making significant improvements designed to support local wildlife throughout the lifetime of the project.”

Work on the Rothienorman site is expected to get underway next year and to complete in early 2024.