Rural
Spectator

Battery storage and Gas-to-Grid opportunities

The intermittent output of decentralised renewable electricity schemes, often mismatched with daily and seasonal increases in demand, has created additional opportunities for landowners.

A number of developers are seeking sites for battery storage systems or established methods such as gas-to-grid generation. As with renewable schemes, the availability of a connection into the grid network, with adequate capacity in the local area, is critical.

Battery storage sites

  • Standardised agricultural or industrial building or container, housing rows of batteries, allowing electricity from the grid to be stored and fed back to the grid when it is required.
  • Lithium-ion or lead acid batteries store the electricity at DC and the invertors convert AC to DC and DC to AC.
  • Either a suitable existing building with a remaining lifetime of 25 years or a new building (constructed at no cost to the landowner) or a suitable site for containers.
  • Agricultural or industrial setting.
  • Suitable as a standalone system or integrated into an energy system to a renewable asset such as wind turbines or solar panels.

Gas-to-grid generation sites

  • Gas-to-grid generation provides short-term standby power to the national grid in order to help balance the grid system.
  • Requires a mains gas connection (medium, intermediate or high pressure) and an electricity connection.
  • Agricultural or industrial setting.

Potential sites should be…

  • Freehold, vacant possession (or the ability to secure possession at short-notice).
  • 0.25 to 4 acres (existing buildings circa. 10,000 sq ft).
  • Level land.
  • Close proximity to electrical network (11 or 33 kv) or close to a substation.
  • For gas-to-grid generation also close proximity to a gas connection (medium, intermediate or high pressure).
  • Good vehicular access.

Potential sites should not be…

  • In a greenbelt, national park or AONB (unless next to an existing complex of buildings).
  • In flood zone 2 or 3 (flood zone 1 is acceptable).
  • Near a listed building.
  • Subject to an Agricultural Holdings Act or long Farm Business Tenancy without a provision allowing the landowner to resume possession of part on short-notice.
  • Reliable on third party access or cable easements.

Landowner benefits…

  • Turn-key approach to the development, from site assessment to the construction and operation of the asset.
  • 25 year lease to provide long term rental income, with annual RPI linked reviews.
  • Attractive form of farm diversification.
  • If a new building is constructed, the landowner gets the building for free at the end of the lease (with all equipment removed).
  • Option premium, plus contribution towards professional costs.

 

The next steps

Do you have a gas main crossing your land and/or an 11 or 33 kv electricity line? If you do then there may be the opportunity for a battery storage site or gas-to-grid generation site. To explore opportunities further, please contact Beth Bull in Bidwells' Cambridge Rural Team.

 

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