Novus are planning to develop, construct and operate a new energy storage project located to the west of Ross-on-Wye, near St Owens Cross adjacent to the existing substation and gas infrastructure.
The site has been carefully selected and designed through a detailed assessment process considering grid availability, heritage, landscape & amenity, ecology & environmental designations, access, and agricultural land quality. We have engaged a team of expert consultants to undertake site specific assessment which are currently in progress.
The UK has committed to becoming Net Zero by 2050 and a target to decarbonise the electricity grid by 2035. This will lead to a national grid powered by more fluctuating energy sources such as wind and solar energy. In order to ensure there is consistent energy provision (even when the sun isn’t shining, or the wind isn’t blowing) energy storage will be integral to providing reliable steady supplies of energy in the UK
We are keen to hear the local community’s feedback on our project, our current designs and plans. We anticipate submitting a planning application to Hereford Council in Q1 2023
The iterative design process has informed a layout which has identified the land which benefits from established screening and includes a buffer from residential properties and local public rights of ways. The margins of the site outside the fence can be used for other habitat enhancements such as wildflower seeding which will boost the biodiversity both on and off site.
Energy Storage: The energy storage equipment will be stored in approximately 6m long containers.
Substation buildings: Required to connect the energy storage to the local electricity network, and meter the import and export.
Transformer units: Will be required to step the voltage up to a suitable export level.
CCTV: Infrared CCTV cameras may be required and will be positioned within the fence line and be directed within the site only.
Storage/Monitoring Buildings: Containerised structures to store equipment during the operation of the development for use of the maintenance staff.
Perimeter fence: A secure perimeter fence is required this will be approximately 2m high.
Proposed construction and operational access for the site is via an un-named road off the A4137 through existing field accesses to the south of the site. During construction a traffic management plan will be put in place. Once the energy storage installation is constructed, it requires very little maintenance. Operational access will comprise of approximately monthly visits in regular cars or 4×4 vehicles.
Specialist Environmental Surveys
The site has been carefully selected and designed during a detailed assessment process considering grid availability, land availability, landscape & amenity, ecology, agricultural land quality, heritage, environmental designations and access.
Agricultural Land Quality: According to the Natural England Provisional Agricultural Land Classification Maps the site is located on Grade 2 agricultural land, however we will undertake a site-specific Agricultural Land Classification Survey which will confirm the quality of the site itself.
Cultural Heritage and Archaeology: We will be undertaking cultural heritage assessments, considering the potential for both buried archaeology on site and inter- relationships with nearby above ground heritage assets in the local area.
Ecology – A bespoke biodiversity strategy is being prepared that ensures existing and new habitats are enhanced or created to benefit local wildlife. Ecology studies have been undertaken to identify any site-specific sensitivities and we will use this information to design and develop our long-term management plan for the site.
Landscape – The site has been selected as it is set close to established energy infrastructure, removed from sensitive receptors and benefits from established screening limiting any landscape impacts of this project.
Noise – The site is set away from noise sensitive receptors such as residential dwellings, with the closest being over 500m from the site. At this stage we are undertaking a detailed noise impact assessment which will inform the final layout and will be submitted with the planning application.
Green Energy and Climate Change
There is widespread awareness of the need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and an encouragement to increase the generation and use of renewable energy. Herefordshire Council declared a climate emergency on the 8th of March 2019.
The UK has committed to becoming Net Zero by 2050 and a target to decarbonise the electricity grid by 2035. As stated by our climate Minster “Driving forward energy storage technologies will be vital in our transition towards cheap, clean and secure renewable energy” GOV energy Storage announcement. Renewable energy developments like St Owens Cross Energy Storage are a key part of addressing the Climate Emergency, furthermore the development at St Owens Cross will serve a key role in this vital transition to renewable energy.
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