In its Facebook article, the Community Council pointed out that the array would be bigger than the substation “and include structures up to 6.7m high.” Therefore we asked Mr Mirchandani if there was a danger that the project would be a blot on the landscape. He replied “How can it be a blot on the landscape if it is beside an existing substation? The extra impact from a few batteries is not going to change the world.”
Next we asked about the Community Council’s comment that Coronation Power wanted to build on prime agricultural land rather than a scheduled industrial or commercial zone. Mr Mirchandani replied “It's got to be next to the substation. The position of the substation determines where the batteries go.” He explained that the company had looked at 150 substations around the UK, but only 3 had sufficient capacity.
Mr Mirchandani said the project would provide practical and environmental benefits. For example it would reduce the chance of power cuts locally and further afield, and would enable more efficient use of renewable power sources such as wind by storing energy during off-peak hours.
The batteries will be housed in 40-foot shipping containers. The company has no plans to build more than the fifteen that are currently proposed.
Regarding the type of batteries, Mr Mirchandani said they will probably be lithium. The company is currently talking to two manufactuers, Sungrow Samsung and NEC, and will choose once they have planning permission.
Coronation Power started in 2004 in response to changing Government policy in favour of green energy, with a focus on wind farms. Their infrastructure partners built three wind farms in Lancashire and Yorkshire, but then the Conservatives came in and cut subsidies making wind unviable. The next opportunity to appear was energy storage using rechargeable batteries to store energy from existing green energy. After looking at 150 substations, three potential sites were chosen including Tarland where the company has received planning consent for a 20MW battery. Mr Mirchandani said that Perth and Kinross Council has indicated its approval as long as all environmental issues are addressed. Other statutory consultees have given their approval.
Regarding the potential for noise pollution, for example from electrical hum, Mr Mirchandani said that the project would comply with all relevant regulations.
We also asked Mr Mirchandani about other aspects of the proposal, including the plan to widen the access road. Information on this and other aspects of the project will be available at the forthcoming public consultation in Coupar Angus.
Recently the Council changed the classification of the project to ‘major’, thereby requiring public consultation. This will take place at Coupar Angus Town Hall on Thursday 31st January between 2 and 8pm. For further information see attached press release from Coronation Power.
To download press release - click here