Opportunities to promote land for battery or STOR energy sites

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News article

Opportunities to promote land for battery or STOR energy sites

April 2017

battery storage

There is a great opportunity for landowners to promote land for battery or STOR energy sites. Normally the first time a landowner is aware of these opportunities is when they are approached by a battery or STOR energy developer. Although there are a few genuine developers, most of them are very speculative and trying to tie the landowner into a poor option and lease which will never proceed.

What most landowners do is to sign a letter allowing the developer to make the grid application, which is a big mistake, as the grid is then in the name of the developer and you can not negotiate with any other party.

Battery storage sites and STOR energy sites are very similar. Both are contained in 40’ shipping containers, in a bunded and security fenced compound, and some battery stores can be located in purpose built buildings. Battery stores normally contain lithium-ion batteries and the STOR energy sites contain gensets (engines), the early ones used to run on diesel and the new ones going forward will run on mains gas as this is seen to be 'greener'.

Both technologies supply electricity at very short notice into the grid at peak times. The battery stores buy the electricity in at cheap times during the day or night and sell it back at peak times, normally in the evening from 5.50-8.00pm. A battery store needs an import and an export grid connection, whereas STOR energy sites need an export connection only. STOR energy sites need to get their gas from a medium or intermediate pressure gas main, and not from a low or high pressure gas main. Both technologies are typically between 5-50MWs in capacity.

Of the sites that proceed half are battery and half are STOR energy, and 25% of all sites are suitable for both. This is why it is so important not to deal with a developer. They will be only selling their services for one technology and so a lot of opportunities will be missed.

Sites for both technologies should ideally be near an 11, 33 or 132kv electricity line, or near a substation. The 33kv lines are best as you normally get a reasonably sized project, and to be viable needs to cost £50,000 per MW or less. Sites should also be located near farm buildings, so they fit in the countryside and not in the middle of a field. If there are residential dwellings nearby, then for battery stores they should be 30-50m away or for STOR energy sites they should be 200-300m away, this is due to noise issues. Sites should not be located on land with any landscape designations like Green Belt, ANOB, SSS1, and National Parks etc.

At Fisher German we can actively promote land by working with independent grid consultants, who will look at the land and see if there is a suitable grid connection. If we do get a grid connection then we put the site out to tender. Only about 1 in 30 sites we initially look at are suitable and this is normally due to lack of grid capacity. These projects only need a 0.5-2.0 acre site and they can earn between £2,000-150,000 pa. 

If you are interested in promoting your land for battery or STOR energy sites, please email a plan edged in red and we can normally give you an answer within a few weeks as to whether the site is suitable. Our team and the grid consultants work on a success basis only, so you will not incur any fees for initial land investigations.

Mark Newton 01858 411215 or email here
Harry Edwards 01858 411204 or email here
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