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Planning application for up to 40 large battery containers on land at Glengolly

By David G Scott

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An application is under consideration with Highland Council's planning department for a battery energy storage system at Glengolly Farm near Thurso.

Maria Francke Planning is acting as agent for the proposal which was dated February 19, 2024 and will see the facility operating over a 40 year period before decommissioning after which the site landscape will be restored.

Plan of intended battery storage facility that has been lodged with Highland Council for erection at Glengolly near Thurso.
Plan of intended battery storage facility that has been lodged with Highland Council for erection at Glengolly near Thurso.

Documents lodged with the council state that the application is for a "proposed development of a battery energy storage system with a capacity of 49.9MW comprising storage containers, control building, transformers, fencing, CCTV, access, landscaping and associated works on land 500m east of Glengolly Farmhouse, Thurso, KW14".

The development will lie in an angular area of improved pasture fields in the lower River Thurso valley between the A9 and the B874. Battery containers will be approximately 13m long and 2.9m in height, with up to 40 of these units on the site. The switchgear shed would be approximately 5x3m and 3m in height.

With the application is a transport statement prepared for Ecocel Energy (Storage) Ltd. which says: "Throughout the six-month construction period of the development, an estimated 12,138 vehicle movements are anticipated. During the peak construction month (Month 3), the site is expected to generate 97 two-way vehicle movements per day, comprised of 80 car movements and an average of 17 Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) movements."

Site access will be from the existing farm road. An existing electricity sub-station lies approximately 1.5kms to the south-east and the proposed development will be connected to this by underground cable. The units will be coloured matt grey, green or brown (to be decided) and will not be illuminated during the hours of darkness. Planting of native mixed trees and shrubs around the site periphery, as they grow and mature, would help to soften and screen the development outline and tie it into the valley landscape.

An appraisal takes into account landscape and visual effects from the proposed development.

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