Concerns over battery storage plans for Chickerell

Concerns over battery storage plans for Chickerell

Battery Energy Storage System

Controversial plans to build a battery storage facility in Chickerell have been submitted to Dorset Council.
Statera Energy is seeking full planning permission to build a 400MW battery energy storage system (BESS) connected to the National Grid near Weymouth FC.
The plan is already attracting opposition from the Chickerell Action Group (CAG), with one member describing the proposed works – with singular vehicular access – as “scary”.
The CAG spokesperson said: “We have been researching fire safety advice and note that the proposals conflict with advice published by the National Fire Chiefs’ Council as regards access for fire-fighting and spacing of containers to avoid fire spread.
“There is a single vehicular access that would be downwind if the wind is from the south or east when fire breaks out.
“In that scenario the fire brigade would be unable to bring appliances to the site to fight the fire and the various security and fences and noise barriers would impede access on foot from other points.
“There would have to be a risk that the fire would burn and spread to remaining containers of batteries out of control.”
The spokesperson said the Health and Safety Executive in Northern Ireland has expressed concerns over Lithium BESS facilities similar to those proposed for Chickerell.
Another CAG member said: “I think we all agree the need to find reliable and truly green energy at affordable prices but seeking to place highly hazardous facilities in such close proximity to housing and community facilities is madness.
“The number of these Lithium BESS facilities catching fire continues to trouble me and the probability of fire appears to be directly linked to the size of facility (Ie the number of cells). Some of the statements being made within the industry are very misleading and need clarification or substantiation.
“At the same time reports are now appearing in the press suggesting that insurers are becoming increasingly wary as claims rates increase.
“There are other, safer, battery technologies being developed and it is these that should surely be selected if it is unavoidable to place some BESS facilities close to residential areas.”
The Chickerell Action Group is holding a public information day on Saturday, September 9 from 11am to 4pm at Reynolds Institute, Broadwey.
Chickerell Town Council is also set to discuss the application at their meeting on Tuesday, September 12 at 6.30pm. The public can comment on Statera’s application until September 23.

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