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In Planning

Stenson Lane ESS

Status:
In Planning
971,980
homes powered (approx)
2 hours
power per home
400MW
capacity
9.4
hectares of land

Current planning process status

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

About the project

Welcome to the Stenson Lane Energy Storage System (ESS) project website. Innova are proposing a 400 Megawatt (MW) ESS on land East of Stenson Lane, near Stenson.  

The development site covers approximately 23 acres, and is located on land to the east of Stenson Lane, near Stenson. 

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 periods of high and low wind resource.  

Energy storage systems like the one proposed at Stenson Lane provide a solution to this, by storing electricity from the grid at times of oversupply and releasing electricity back into the grid at times of peak demand.  

The site has been carefully selected and designed through a detailed assessment process, which considers 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. We hosted a consultation event on Monday 13th November at Stenson Fields Community Centre, Merevale Way, Stenson Fields, Derby, DE24 3EL. 


Site Design

The site has been carefully selected and the design is being informed by an ongoing detailed assessment process.  

A Site Selection Assessment was initially completed which sought to identify the optimum site to accommodate the proposed development within a reasonable proximity of the Willington National Grid substation. This assessment concluded that there are two suitable locations, with the site at Stenson Lane being the most preferable.  

The proposal comprises energy storage units which will be distributed across the site in pairs, each with an associated transformer and inverter. Groups of ESS units will then be connected into a 33/132kV transformer which then feed electricity to the on-site 400kV substation, for export into the National Grid. The proposal will be connected to the nearby Willington National Grid substation via an underground cable. 

Existing mature trees and hedgerows surround the site which will be retained to provide screening. Landscape enhancements will also be delivered to further screen the development and provide an opportunity to deliver significant Biodiversity Net Gain on site. 

It is proposed that access will be from the south on Stenson Lane, with all vehicles arriving from the A5132 and A50. Internal access tracks will be created within the development site around the ESS containers and to the substation. 

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. 

You can view the Site Capacity Plan for the site below:

Stenson Lane ESS Site Capacity Plan


The Equipment

Energy storage units 

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

Medium Voltage (MV Skid) 

The MV Skid is required to convert the Direct Current (DC) exported from the batteries to Alternating Current (AC) required for the grid, and vice versa. 

Transformers 

The purpose of these transformers is to raise the voltage of the stored energy for export to the National Grid, and vice versa. 

Substation buildings 

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

Access tracks 

Access Tracks will be established across the site comprising both asphalt and crushed stone. During the construction phase a construction compound will be established for storage materials, plant, parking, and worker offices and welfare units. 

Security 

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


Site Access

Construction traffic route 

It is proposed that construction vehicles will exit the Derby Southern Bypass at Junction 3 and travel west on the A514 Swarkestone Road, continuing along the A5132 before turning north onto Stenson Lane to the site.  

We are currently assessing the number of construction vehicles that will be required, and this will be detailed within the Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP) which will be submitted as part of the planning application, to be agreed by the Council and adhered to by the appointed contractor. The CTMP will also include a suite of mitigation measures to reduce the effect of construction traffic on the local highway network.  

A plan of the proposed construction traffic route is provided below: 

Stenson Construction Route Plan

Operational Traffic 

Once operational, the site will be visited for occasional routine maintenance, typically once or twice a month by a light good vehicle. In the first five operational years, regular visits will be made by landscape contractors and ecologists to monitor and manage completed landscape works. 


Specialist Environmental Surveys

We have instructed a range of specialist consultants who are currently undertaking surveys to inform the design and planning application. 

Landscape & Visual 

We have completed a Landscape Appraisal and are currently undertaking a full Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) which will accompany the planning application. Key viewpoints from the surrounding area will be assessed within the LVIA.  

The site benefits from existing mature trees and hedgerows and is set away from sensitive receptors. There are two existing overhead electrical lines that run east-west and north-south across the proposed development area.  

Agricultural Land Quality   

An agricultural land classification survey has been completed which confirms that the site comprises 37% Grade 3a and 63% Grade 3b land. Most of the development site is therefore not Best and Most Versatile land.  

Archaeology and Heritage 

A Historic Environmental Desk-Based Assessment has been completed, which considered the potential impact on archaeological assets and built heritage.

The assessment has not identified any designated archaeology which will be negatively impacted by the proposed development. There are three Listed Buildings in the vicinity of the site, however the assessment concluded that the significance of these assets will not be impacted by the proposed development.  

The Trent and Mersey Canal Conservation Area is c. 50m to the north and Twyford Conservation Area c. 540m to the south-west. The assessment concluded that the Canal Conservation Area does not derive significance from the proposed development site as part of its setting, and the proposed development will not impact the significance of the Conservation Area. Twyford Conservation Area will also be preserved from any impacts; there is no intervisibility with the site due to the distance and interstitial screening from hedges and trees, and the proposed development site does not contribute to the significance of the Conservation Area. 

Ecology   

A Preliminary Ecology Appraisal (PEA) has been completed, which confirmed the site comprises a large arable field with small field margins and a smaller triangular field comprising neutral grassland. The site is bounded by wet ditches and hedgerows. The PEA confirmed that the proposals are unlikely to impact designated sites which are sufficiently distance from the site and recommended the following surveys, of which the majority have now been completed: 

  • Breeding birds: An assemblage of birds typical of arable and wetland habitats were present, with the majority of these were making use of the site boundaries and/or the smaller triangular field.  
  • Otter and water vole: The ditches surrounding the site are suitable for foraging and commuting otter and to a lesser extent, water vole, however, no evidence of either species has been recorded. 
  • Bats: A low number of common species were recorded, which forage and commute along the site boundaries in low numbers. There is no evidence of roosting within the site. 
  • Badger: Historical outlier setts were identified on the field boundaries which are now disused. 
  • Great Crested Newt: Great crested newts are absent from the boundary ditches but may be present within the wider landscape. We will apply to enter South Derbyshire’s District Level Licensing (DLL) scheme, which results in lots of high value, secure ponds for newts which are managed and monitored for the long term. 

A 10m buffer from the development fence line to hedgerows has been incorporated into the design to ensure their interest is maintained and to provide improved connectivity for foraging and commuting wildlife currently making use of the site. 

Habitats of high biodiversity value including species-rich grassland will be incorporated within the buffers and small field and managed over 30 years to deliver biodiversity net gain in the short and long-term. 

Our ecology consultant is currently undertaking wintering birds’ surveys and preparing a Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) strategy; the proposals will secure at least 10% BNG. All survey results and mitigation strategies will be included within an Ecological Impact Assessment submitted as part of the planning application.  

Hydrology   

The site is in Flood Zone 1, meaning it has a low probability of flooding from rivers and the sea. However, because the proposed development is greater than one hectare, the application must be supported by a Flood Risk Assessment to demonstrate that it will not present an increase in flood risk both on and off site. Planning guidance also requires major developments to include Sustainable Drainage Systems. 

We have conducted percolation testing to determine the most suitable drainage solution for the site. As infiltration rates were poor, an attenuation drainage method is appropriate. Attenuation basin locations are shown on the site layout; these will connect to the drainage ditch on the northern boundary which then feeds into a stream.  

Noise  

We are preparing a Noise Impact Assessment of the site, which has identified the closest noise receptors and informed the proposed layout. We are currently liaising with our noise consultants to determine the requirement for any noise mitigation measures.   


Green Energy and Climate Change

The UK has a legally binding target to achieve Net Zero by 2050 and has committed to fully decarbonising the electricity network by 2035. Renewable energy generation is intermittent and Energy Storage Systems help to balance this facilitating a transition to renewable energy sources. This allows us to make better use of our existing electricity supplies and for electricity generated from renewable energy sources to be fully utilised. 

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 to meet the projected requirements.  

Projects like Stenson Lane ESS will allow electricity that has been produced by renewables to be stored in periods of high supply and released at times of high demand and low supply, whilst also allowing us to make better use of our existing electricity supplies from conventional generation methods. 


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