Plans for an energy storage facility at a Clackmannanshire farm have been submitted to the council.

A full planning application for a 25 megawatt battery storage station has been made by Apatura Energy, a York-based renewable energy developer focused on battery projects. 

If approved, an energy storage system with security fencing, CCTV, landscaping and a new access road be built on land at Bankhead Farm, south of ancient Twentyfive Acre Wood, off the B9140, near Fishcross. 

The 0.85 hectare farmland site is not considered to be prime agricultural land, but is located in open countryside. 

The site was chosen because of its proximity to the Devonside electrical substation, which would be connected to the facility via an underground cable.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: The site of the proposed battery storage facility from the B9140.The site of the proposed battery storage facility from the B9140. (Image: Google Maps)

Developers claim that energy storage facilities such as this are crucial for helping the UK meet its climate targets, reducing energy bills, and making the electricity grid more stable. 

“Energy storage is a fundamental form of support infrastructure when it comes to decarbonising the national grid,” a planning statement explained. 

“Energy storage provides a vital ‘balancing role’, helping to ensure that the grid remains stable at times of stress and enabling the rollout of zero carbon energy. This will facilitate meeting the national and regional goals of net-zero emissions.”

According to Apatura Energy, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind provide “intermittent supplies of energy” because they rely on factors such as wind and weather. 

Energy storage facilities store the excess energy that is produced during high winds or sunny days and then export that stored energy back to the grid when generation is low. 

In essence, battery storage allows renewable energy to become a more prominent and reliable source of power. 

Developers also say energy storage will also “ultimately assist with more affordable energy bills”.

“There is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions as quickly as possible,” a planning statement added. “This is recognised not only by the Government, which has set a target for the county to reach net zero by 2050, but also by Clackmannanshire Council who have declared a climate emergency.” 

The statement continued: “The proposal will help facilitate the decarbonisation of the UK energy supply to meet the Net Zero 2050 emissions target and other national energy and climate policies. There are clear benefits that arise from the proposal and the enhancements proposed in respect of landscape, which clearly outweigh any adverse impacts.” 

If the application is approved, the battery storage facility will have permission to operate for 40 years. After that time, the facility would be decommissioned and the land would be returned to its original state for agriculture.