Battery energy storage units in rows on grey ground
The 49.9MW energy storage project will offer biodiversity benefits alongside grid stability. Image: RES

RES has submitted proposals for a 49.9MW energy storage project to Torridge District Council.

The project will be located on land near Pyworthy substation and will connect directly to the 132kV overhead powerline from the site.

John Hills, development project manager for RES, said: “Energy storage projects play a critical role in reinforcing our energy network and ensuring flexibility. They are the fastest technology for responding to a sudden spike in demand or an abrupt loss of supply on the network. The energy storage system will be utilised by National Grid to balance peaks and troughs in energy demand and generation; it’s a really clever system.

“These projects also offer great opportunities, particularly in locations like this, for site biodiversity enhancement. Sustainability is a core value at RES, and we carefully design projects like this to ensure that we maximise the environmental benefit. So, not only can this project help us support the UK’s net zero emissions target by accelerating the rollout of zero-carbon energy, it can also help us support nature and create a haven for wildlife as well.”

Boost for biodiversity

The project’s proposal has been designed to increase biodiversity in the area, with the included planting of hedgerow, grassland and wildflower areas expected to create a net biodiversity gain of 22% in habitat units and 34% in hedgerow units.

Other solar and storage projects have been shown to be beneficial for biodiversity. A March 2024 study found that solar farms can be “havens for biodiversity”, with several bird and mammal species under conservation concern shown to be thriving on observed solar farms. A new study by the same researchers is being conducted in conjunction with renewable energy firm Low Carbon, using state-of-the-art and novel technologies to assess the presence of pollinating insects in the area around Westmill Solar Park in Oxford.