Highlighting Battery Storage Concerns for Esclusham Residents

I raised the concerns of residents in Esclusham about the proposed battery storage facility near Bersham during questions to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero in the House of Commons on Tuesday 27th February 2024. 

The proposals, put forward by energy firm Innova, would see the construction of a battery storage facility on a current greenfield site near the A483. If built, it would constitute the largest lithium-ion battery storage site in the UK. Since the announcement of the proposal, it has faced significant local opposition, with residents forming the “Esclusham Community Group” to campaign against the scheme. The group cite a number of concerns about the proposal, primarily relating to the safety of the project. I met the Group in July 2023 during which residents expressed their concerns about the proposal. Following the meeting, I said that I believed the group raised legitimate concerns about the proposals.

In my question in the House of Commons today, I asked the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Rt Hon Claire Coutinho MP:

“Residents in Esclusham in my constituency of Clwyd South are alarmed by Innova’s plans for the UK’s largest lithium-ion battery storage facility near Bersham. Can my Right Honourable Friend give any reassurance about the safety of this technology to my constituents, who are very concerned about the dangers of pollution given the noise emitted by such equipment and reports of similar facilities elsewhere exploding, catching fire and emitting toxic fumes?”

In her response, the Secretary of State said:

“I thank my Honourable Friend for his question. Electricity storage allows us to use energy more flexibly and to minimise energy bills. Grid scale, lithium-ion battery energy storage systems, I can assure him, are covered by a robust regulatory framework that’s principally overseen by the Health and Safety Executive. And planning guidance encourages developers and local authorities to consult relevant fire and rescue services on aspects such as location, ahead of any planning decision being made.”