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Hall Farm Energy Storage Project

Battery Capacity
Acres of Land
Homes Powered

Current planning process status

  • Public Consultation
  • Revise Proposals
  • Application Submitted
  • Application Consultation
  • Decision on Application

About the project

Welcome to the Hall Farm Energy Storage System ‘ESS’ project website. We are proposing a 400 megawatt (MW) ESS to be located on land on Hall Farm, Norwich.

The development site covers approximately 63 acres including 49 acres for access, areas of landscape, planting and biodiversity net gain.

The proposal would support the UKs transition to net zero and increased use of renewable energy through supporting the availability of energy to the National Grid. Renewable energy is characterised by its intermittent generation profile. For example, solar energy is produced during daylight hours, and wind generation fluctuates between seasons and during windy/less windy periods.    Energy storage developments like the one proposed at Hall Farm provide a solution to this, by storing electricity from the grid at times of peak generation and releasing electricity back into the grid at times of peak demand. The proposal would provide a significant amount of energy storage capacity which is needed to balance the supply and demand for energy in the UK. It also facilitates the continued deployment of renewable energy onto the electricity network.

The site has been carefully selected and designed through a detailed assessment process considering heritage, landscape, ecological and environmental designations, access, flooding, transport and agricultural land quality.  We have engaged a team of expert consultants to provide advice on the project.

An important part of the development process is to engage with the local community and therefore we will be hosting a community consultation event at Swardeston Village Hall, Swardeston, Norwich, NR14 8DX on Tuesday the 20th of June. Please feel free to drop in at any time between 3pm and 7pm.

Site Design

The site design is continually evolving and informed by detailed assessments, drawing upon the expertise of numerous specialist disciplines.

We have submitted a pre-application request to South Norfolk district Council and are currently awaiting their initial feedback.

The Energy Storage system is proposed in the eastern field of the red line boundary. The western fields would be used for an internal access track and for the provision of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG).

The site benefits from established hedgerows and established tree belts around the field boundaries. The proposal seeks to enhance this existing screening with additional planting of hedgerows and trees.

If approved, the development would have an operational period of 50 years, needing only occasional maintenance. At the end of this period the development would be decommissioned, all equipment removed, and the land restored to its current use.

The Equipment

Energy Storage 

The development would primarily consist of liquid cooled batteries, the size of a storage container.

Medium Voltage (MV) Skid 

The MV Skid is required to convert the Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC) via an inverter.


The purpose of these transformers is to raise and lower the voltage for export and import to the National Grid.


The main substation contains the largest items of plant, consisting of a Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) hall, transformers and filters. It has a footprint of approximately two acres.

Access Tracks 

Access tracks would be established across the site. During the construction phase a construction compound would be established in the vicinity of the site.


A fence would be installed around the perimeter of the development at a height of approximately two metres. The site would be monitored by inward facing CCTV cameras.

Site Access

The development would be accessed from the west. Suitable precautions will be included within the Construction Traffic Management Plan to ensure users of the route will be kept safe. We are currently working up these details and will be discussing with the Local Planning Authority as part of our pre-application advice request.

Once the project is operational visits to site will be required only for occasional maintenance checks, with most operational and monitoring functions carried out remotely.

Specialist Environmental Surveys

We have instructed a range of specialist consultants who are currently undertaking surveys to inform our design process, and for our future planning application.

Landscape & Visual: A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment is currently underway. Our consultation boards include the viewpoint images and our application will include photomontages showing how the proposals would look within the landscape, taken from key viewpoints recommended by our consultant. The site benefits from existing screening in the form of hedges and trees which would be further enhanced with additional planting.

Agricultural Land Quality:  A site-specific agricultural land classification survey has been undertaken and confirmed that the site comprises of grade 2, 3a and 3b agricultural land. In the South Norfolk district there are 22,450 acres of best most versatile (BMV) farmland. Our development area would use 14 acres of best most versatile land for key energy storage infrastructure, accounting for just 0.06% of BMV land in the district.

Cultural Heritage and Archaeology: We have undertaken a Historic Environment Desk-Based Assessment which considered the potential for any effects on heritage assets in the area, and the likelihood of encountering archaeological remains on the site. The assessment concluded the proposal would not lead to negative impacts on the nearest heritage assets however there may be need for further investigations into the potential for archaeology on site.

Ecology:  A Landscaping Planting Plan is being prepared that ensures existing and new habitats are enhanced or created to benefit local wildlife.  Ecology studies have been undertaken to identify the impact of current proposals and we will use this information to design and develop our long-term management plan for the site.

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG): All our sites deliver BNG, and we will wherever possible exceed the statutory requirements set out for this. We are currently finalising our BNG calculations for the site and specific management and ecological mitigation measures. These will be confirmed and consulted on as part of the planning application process.

Hydrology : The proposed equipment is located within Flood Zone 1, the area recognised by the Environment Agency as having the lowest probability of flooding.

Noise: The planning application will be supported by a Noise Impact Assessment. We are currently working with our noise consultants to model the potential noise generated and consequently update the design to minimize any noise impacts. If required, we will look to include mitigations into our design such as noise barrier fences to mitigate noise.



Need for Energy Storage Developments

The UK has a legally binding target to achieve net-zero by 2050 and has committed to fully decarbonising the electricity network by 2035. This results in many low carbon and renewable developments being needed across the UK. Energy storage systems, like this proposal, are leading the way in balancing demand for electricity and providing flexibility to the supply of electricity in terms of where it can be stored on the network, and the times when it can be utilised. They are a crucial component of the delivery of net zero targets.

There will be a significant increase in demand for electricity in the coming years as more sectors (such as cars, heating, road fleet and trains) rely more extensively on electricity as a fuel source. The Future Energy Scenarios 2022 report (written by National Grid ESO) indicates that the UK will need more than 250GW of energy storage by 2050 and this proposal would add a significant amount of energy storage to this pipeline. In April 2022, Renewable UK reported that, nationwide, there was around 1.5GW of energy storage in operation, 1.5GW under construction, and 10GW that had consent, but had not yet been built. A significant increase is required in order to meet the projected requirements.

Renewable energy generation is intermittent and Energy Storage Systems help to balance this by storing electricity at times of low demand and releasing this at peak demand. Energy Storage allows us to make better use of our existing electricity supplies and for electricity generated from renewable energy sources to be fully utilised.

Key Benefits

We are seeking comments from the local community through this community consultation, in order to shape the proposal before we submit the planning application to South Norfolk District Council and see whether the proposal can provide any additional benefits to local residents.

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Why do we need energy storage developments?

The UK has a legally binding target to achieve net-zero by 2050. This results in many low carbon and renewable developments being needed across the UK. Intermittency of renewables is a key characteristic to manage and overcome, with their dependency on weather and the time of day. Energy Storage Systems, like this proposal, are leading the way in balancing demand and providing flexibility to the supply of electricity in terms of where it can be stored, and when it can be utilised.

Relationship to nearby projects

We are aware of the number and locations of other development proposals and approved developments in the local area and working closely to develop our proposals with them. Our proposal has been positioned to minimise visual effects and planting will be implemented to reduce these further.

The site is close to the Norwich main National Grid Substation, where we have a confirmed grid offer to connect the project to the Electricity Transmission System. We have considered other land in the area and around the substation. We believe the site we have chosen offers the best available opportunity to deliver our project.

We are in discussions with the other developers to allow for co-existence and to look at ways to be sensitive to the surrounding area and residents. This community consultation will provide valuable comments from the residents around the proposal.

Why do we need a new substation?

A new substation is required to allow power to be transferred between the Energy Storage System and the National Grid substation. This equipment would step up / step down the voltage between the sites which would be connected via an underground cable.

How is this project linked to renewable energy generation?

The proposal allows for energy to be stored at times of low demand and released at times of high demand. Renewable energy generation is intermittent, and ESS help to balance that this by storing electricity at times of peak demand. Energy storage allows us to make better use of our existing electricity supplies and for electricity generated from renewable energy sources to be fully utilised.

Will the development emit noise once constructed?

The equipment will emit noise. We are currently working with our Noise Consultants to confirm the most appropriate layout and any mitigation measures to ensure the noise emissions from the site do not exceed background day-time, and night-time, noise levels.

How safe is the ESS?

Energy Storage Systems are a safe and established technology and there are many sites across the UK operating today. The development will incorporate a number of embedded safety mitigation measures to ensure the development operates safely and in accordance with regulatory requirements and the requirements of the local Fire Service.