Residents voice concern over battery storage facility plans amid fear of fires

It’s the second battery storage site that has been earmarked for the area.

Aberdeen residents voice concern over battery storage facility plans amid fear of fires Anesco

Fearful Aberdeen residents are worried that a proposed battery storage facility could be “dangerous for the whole area” should it go up in flames.

Danestone Community Council in Bridge of Don said it is scared that a blaze at the site could cause a “major disaster”.

Their concerns come after a similar development in Liverpool took hours to extinguish following a fire four years ago.

But despite this, they argue that many locals living just metres away have no idea about the proposal.

Anesco wants to construct a 70MW battery energy storage system (BESS) next to the Persley waste water treatment plant.

It’s the second battery storage site that has been earmarked for the area.

Persley Croft BESS Ltd has lodged plans for a similar development at the former piggery next to the RGS Hutchison and Sons scrapyard.

Both sites would connect to the existing SSEN Persley Grid substation on Station Road and could be in operation for 40 years.

The location of the proposed Persley battery storage facility. Photo: Anesco.

Danestone Community Council member Sarah-Jane Foxen said the potential fire risk was a big concern for the group. They are especially worried about a gas pipe that runs under the site.

She said: “Anesco say that if there is a fire they will just let this burn which is very concerning considering we’ve got a gas pipe, water pipe and petrol station nearby.

“The whole road would be shut down.”

Fellow community councillor Kathryn Duncan added: “I fear it is dangerous for the whole area. It won’t be manned so no-one will be there to stop a fire.

“Who is going to raise the alarm?”

Ms Duncan also voiced her concern about “toxic fumes” that could potentially be created during a blaze.

“Some areas have been evacuated because of this,” she stated.

The community councillors also fear the site will create a noise nuisance for those living nearby. They worry an annoying buzz will be loud and clear, especially in the evenings.

Ms Foxen said: “I did ask Anesco how noisy it would be with rain hitting off the containers, I don’t think that would be very soothing.

“We’ll have a bunch of people with tinnitus or hearing problems. And there will be no benefit to residents here, apart from some containers that we get to look at.”

The location of the proposed Persley battery storage facility. Photo: Anesco

The dedicated community councillor recently visited the £20m 50MW battery storage facility in Dundee.

She said she wanted to get an idea of what such a facility would look and sound like for herself. Following her trip, she said a “consistent machine noise” was emitted from the Dundee site.

The Bridge of Don residents fear having two battery storage sites in Persley will change the character of the peaceful residential area.

Ms Duncan suggested the developers should have looked at placing the facility in the city’s empty industrial estates instead of the “ridiculous” proposed spot.

But to her surprise, the community councillor revealed many of those living nearby had “no idea” about the plans.

“People didn’t know about it and they live right next door. It is worrying, the more we’ve read of these documents and the more that’s not being said is scary.”

The solar energy firm argues the storage facility is needed as coal and gas power stations are phased out from Britain’s energy system.

BESS facilities store and release energy generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar farms.

They help to support the increasing demand for low carbon technology in the UK. Storage sites also release power to the grid when there is a demand for it.

Anesco also claim the risk of fire from the batteries would be “relatively low” but could be shut down remotely if needed.

Each storage cabinet will have an automatic heat and fire detection system to curb any potential disasters.

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