What is the Junction 27 Energy Hub?
Clearstone Energy is proposing to construct a Battery Energy Storage System on land adjacent to Junction 27 of the M5 (EX16 7HL). The Battery Energy Storage System is an essential tool for addressing the climate emergency, as it maximises the availability of green energy from solar and wind farms for use in UK homes and businesses. The system achieves this by storing electricity during periods when supply exceeds demand, such as at night, and releasing it during peak demand periods at the beginning and end of the working day. The Junction 27 Energy Hub would be a 400MW Battery Energy Storage project connected to the local and national electricity networks via the National Grid overhead lines that run alongside the M5 at Junction 27. It would have the capacity to store energy equivalent to a day’s power for all 82,000 homes in Mid-Devon when fully charged.
Clearstone Energy submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening Request for the Project to the Mid Devon District Council on Friday, April 21st, to determine the best approach to assessing the potential impacts of the Project on the local area. Information about the proposal will be sent to households closest to the site next week (w/c 8th May), soliciting their feedback on the proposal. A public consultation event will take place on May 31st at Sampford Peverell village hall, and the public consultation period will close at the end of June. The planning application is anticipated to be submitted by the end of July.
Why is Battery Energy Storage So Important?
Battery energy storage is crucial to achieving the UK Government’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from UK electricity generation to zero by 2035, a significant milestone on the path to a net zero UK by 2050. Battery energy storage adds flexibility and resilience to the UK electricity network, which was built for coal and gas-fired power plants, to support the continued growth of renewable energy generation in the UK. The current inflexibility of the UK electricity network is adding costs to energy bills and failing to deliver the emissions reductions needed to prevent climate change. Battery energy storage provides greater flexibility by capturing excess energy available on the network when renewable energy supply outstrips demand and releasing it later when demand exceeds supply.
Who are Clearstone Energy?
Clearstone Energy is an independent, British renewable energy developer with significant technical, environmental, planning, and community engagement expertise. The company has a track record of developing large-scale solar and battery energy storage projects in the UK. In the past two years, Clearstone Energy has obtained planning consent for two solar projects and three battery projects, four of which are in Southern England.
The Causes of Climate Change and Clearstone Energy’s Commitment
The causes of climate change are numerous, including carbon emissions from electricity generation, heating, transportation, and construction, as well as the degradation of nature and wildlife. As a renewable energy developer, Clearstone Energy’s projects contribute significantly to reducing emissions from electricity generation. The company is committed to delivering projects that achieve more, including using more sustainable construction materials and techniques where feasible and adding back wildlife to achieve significant biodiversity net gain. Clearstone Energy also supports energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the communities that host its projects. In particular, the company provides financial support to deliver energy efficiency initiatives that reduce energy costs for households in low-income local communities.
Clearstone Energy pride themselves on conducting extensive research to identify the most suitable locations for their projects. Their proposed site’s location within a major infrastructure corridor, including road, rail, and electricity networks, makes it an ideal spot for their project. Situated strategically on the National Grid electricity transmission network, their project will support the supply of low-carbon electricity across Mid Devon and surrounding areas. The site’s proximity to the motorway network will also reduce construction traffic passing through local towns and villages. Additionally, the proposed built infrastructure is situated within the lowest flood risk category (Flood Zone 1) on low-grade agricultural land. Views of the project will be limited to mainly fleeting glimpses as motorists drive past the site. Furthermore, the site’s minimal nearby housing and the opportunity to develop only 40% of the land area provide the potential to deliver significant benefits to wildlife.
Their proposed project is fully in line with both local and national policies, including the Mid-Devon Local Plan 2013-2033, the Devon Carbon Plan 2020-2030, and the UK Government’s Powering Up Britain strategy (March 2023).
While they are still in the early stages of developing their proposals, rhey would like to inform us that they will be holding a public consultation for the proposed project on May 31st at Sampford Peverell village hall. They will be sending a brochure attached to this email to local residents, along with an invitation to attend the public consultation event.
At their company, they believe in actively engaging local communities in shaping the final plans for their projects. They recognise that there is no substitute for local knowledge in creating the best possible project. They also understand that engaging the community in renewable energy projects encourages energy efficiency and sustainable living behaviours. Therefore, we encourage local residents to attend the public consultation event, where they will have the opportunity to meet the development team, learn more about the proposals, and provide valuable input and feedback.
Clearstone Junction 27 Energy Hub Brochure