The Secretary of State for BEIS has made the Order that removes electricity storage facilities from the category of a generating station whose construction or extension requires a Development Consent Order. Battery storage no long amounts to a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).
The Order comes into effect on 2 December 2020.
Unless an application is already being processed, standalone battery storage facilities in England will from that date be consented under the Town and Country Planning Act regardless of their size. Due consideration will need to be given to how this change merges with the Welsh Developments of National Significance consenting regime.
Energy suppliers with mixed technologies generating stations which include battery storage can disregard the battery storage capacity element when determining whether their scheme as a whole is an NSIP. Similarly bolting on battery storage to an existing non-NSIP scheme will not cause the scheme to tip into the NSIP regime if the total generating capacity of the extended facility exceeds 50MW.
Pumped hydroelectric storage facilities are excluded from the change and these remain NSIP requiring development consent.
The Order provides a definition of electricity storage facility as a facility which generates electricity from energy that was converted from electricity by the facility which is stored within that facility for the purpose of its future reconversion into electricity. This definition will be of interest to the market considering how system balancing facilities, such as synchronous condensers, should be consented.
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