Statera Energy

Statera secures planning consent for 290MW battery energy storage scheme in East Devon

21 March 2024

Statera Energy has secured planning consent from East Devon District Council for a 290MW battery energy storage scheme (BESS) of up to 6 hours duration connected directly to Exeter substation which could instantaneously power over 650,000 homes. Connecting the project to the grid in 2027 will start contributions by Statera to a local fuel poverty fund.

East Devon accepted that Statera’s BESS was a low carbon energy project needed to store renewable energy from the grid when renewable generation exceeds demand and also complies with renewable and low-carbon energy policy in the East Devon Local Plan. Officers had advised, “It is clear that the scheme would provide benefits, in the form of reducing dependency upon fossil fuels and contributing to energy security in the UK.”

The Exeter facility is scheduled to become Statera’s sixth operational battery scheme. Statera’s first schemes at Pelham and Creyke Beck have been successfully storing electricity to instantaneously power around 100,000 homes each since 2017. As well as its own assets Statera has built six other BESS schemes, is currently constructing its flagship 300MW battery at Tilbury Substation in Essex, and is responsible for maintaining and overseeing over a gigawatt of battery schemes in the UK.

East Devon District Council accepted the advice of the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service that the well-designed proposals, which include extensive fire detection and suppression systems, raised no fire risk concerns.

Increasing BESS capacity close to National Grid’s strategic substations is critically important to the decarbonisation of the UK’s electricity system. Both the UK’s target of achieving net zero by 2050 and the earlier target to decarbonise the power system by 2035 require a substantial growth in renewable energy generation, along with electricity storage to balance the intermittent generation from renewables. National Grid expects batteries to make up the largest share of storage power capacity by 2050 with battery use rising from 2.8GW in 2023 to as much as 20GW by 2030 and 35GW by 2050.

Statera has agreed with Broadclyst Parish Council to provide a contribution of tens of thousands of pounds per year to its fuel poverty fund that can also be used for local projects. This is a voluntary fund, the principle of which is being encouraged by central Government through its development of draft guidance on community benefit for some infrastructure projects.

Oliver Troup at Statera Energy comments:

It’s easy to jump to conclusions about unfamiliar technologies and Statera is grateful to the community around Whimple for carefully considering our track record and all the evidence we presented. As a result, this project is able to make a significant contribution to the UK’s transition to clean energy, and local people will also benefit directly through a boost to the fuel poverty fund.