The first interesting thing we found in the application is outlined in the 1.2 Application Form file. This is a copy of the information that the developers entered into The Planning Inspectorate’s website as part of their submission.
Question 22 ‘Additional information for specific types of infrastructure’ asks for details on certain types of development. The connection to the National Grid is highlighted with both export and import being mentioned:
The electricity generated by the Development will be exported via an underground high voltage 400 kV cable system between the Development substation and the NGET substation located within the existing Cleve Hill Substation at NGR TR 04911 63997.
The 400 kV cable system will allow electricity to be exported and imported from the Development to facilitate the charging of the energy storage facility. The cable system is expected to comprise a single 400 kV circuit with 3 conducting cores placed in a single trench. Either ducting would be utilised or the cables would be directly buried.
What does this mean?
Why is Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd (CHSP) applying for the facility to import energy? Their proposal is to be a low-carbon energy generator – as their website says: to “generate renewable power through photovoltaic panels, providing clean power to UK homes”. We can understand how generated energy needs to be exported to the National Grid. The question is how will importing energy from the National Grid into their battery help CHSP to achieve low-carbon energy generation?
Back in June we raised concerns about the battery element of this scheme. Details available then were scarce, but the application confirms that the energy storage facility would be used for import and export. In Australia a similar battery set up is reported as a potential money spinner, making $1 million (Australian Dollars) profit in two days.