A row of dark green battery energy storage units
Big Battery Co has gained planning permission for a new BESS. Image: Anesco

The planning committee of a Scottish local council has approved proposals for a 49MW battery energy storage system (BESS).

Developer Big Battery Co has been granted permission by Inverclyde Council. The site, located just outside the town of Greenock, will now host 13 battery units with a combined capacity of 49.9MW and a predicted lifespan of 40 years.

Certain conditions will need to be met before construction can begin, including an ecological survey. However, the report from the planning committee notes that the project could have a positive impact on biodiversity in the area, with the construction of artificial shelters for hedgehogs forming part of the development plans.

More storage is needed

Industry body Solar Energy UK argues that to meet net zero targets, the UK must grow its energy storage capacity to 30GW from its current level of 8GW. While this seems like an ambitious target, activity in the BESS sector is increasing, with a report by RenewableUK showing that the total pipeline for battery projects has increased by 67.4% in the past 12 months.

Several major projects are currently being considered by planning committees, with RES recently submitting proposals for a 49.9MW BESS to Torridge District Council and Statera currently awaiting a decision on its application for a 500MW BESS connected to the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s Culham Campus.

Meanwhile, Atlantic Green, Ameresco and Envision have inked a deal worth £200 million to build a new 300MW BESS in the West Midlands.