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Energy / Zenobe seeking consent from government for Lerwick battery storage system

PLANS have now been lodged with the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit for a battery storage system in Lerwick.

The application to the Energy Consents Unit, from developer Zenobe, is required because the capacity would be above 50MW.

The 70MW battery storage system would be used if the forthcoming subsea transmission link between Shetland and the Scottish mainland had an outage and Lerwick Power Station needs time to move out of standby mode, avoiding a blackout in the isles.

The development is proposed for land opposite Lerwick Power Station.

A tendering process has been ongoing from SSEN for the “standby solution”, with Statkraft initially in the running before pulling out.

Fire safety has been a concern among some in the community, but Zenobe says measures will be introduced to reduce risk.

These could include separation distances between batteries and other equipment, having multiple layers of protection and installing fire detection and suppression systems.

Zenobe said it will consult with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to develop a battery safety management plan and emergency response plan when details of the specific type of technology, manufacturers and control systems are confirmed following the procurement process.

The battery system could be live by February 2025.

But in the documents lodged with the Scottish Government, Zenobe warns that the “delivery of the project requires the consenting process to operate smoothly and without any unnecessary delay”.

A spokesperson for SSEN said the tendering process is ongoing, with “good progress being made on both the planning application and with our regulator”.

“It is anticipated that the process will be completed in late 2023/early 2024, and full details of the contractor will be announced at that point,” they said.

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