Green energy hub planned for derelict former power station

Outline plans will be revealed for a green energy hub at the former Thorpe Marsh power station site, near Doncaster.

Property, renewable energy and minerals firm The Banks Group wants to create the flexible energy management hub through reclamation and restoration of the derelict former power station.

There would also be biodiversity features including wetlands, woodlands and grassland on a 65-hectare area to the west of the village of Barnby Dun.

The project would take advantage of the site’s 1,450MW connection to the National Grid and would involve deployment of what is thought to be the largest battery energy storage system currently being planned in the UK.

The hub, which could store up to 2.8GWhrs of energy, would be used to ensure reliable and stable electricity grid operation at times of peak demand.

A public consultation around Banks’ proposals will be conducted over the coming months, with a launch to take place from 2pm-7.30pm at Barnby Dun Parish Hall on 2 November.

Members of the Banks project team will be available at the appointment-only surgery to answer queries. The team hopes to have the flexible energy hub up and running by the middle of the decade if consent is granted.

Lewis Stokes, senior community relations manager at The Banks Group, said: “This is a nationally important project that will put South Yorkshire at the forefront of developments in the increasingly important energy storage industry.

“Our vision is to deliver a range of long-term environmental, energy security, employment, economic and community benefits through the reclamation and restoration of this landmark site, while also supporting the UK’s drive towards its net zero targets.

“The Thorpe Marsh Green Energy Hub would use the site’s large grid capacity to facilitate the increased deployment of renewable energy technologies on the National Grid network, so more of the energy we all use in our homes, businesses, schools and hospitals can be generated via renewable means.”

To prepare the Thorpe Marsh site, the first phase of the project proposes to remove and reclaim the power station’s former ash disposal area by recovering up to 2.25m tonnes of pulverised fuel ash (PFA).

It can be used as a secondary aggregate to make concrete blocks, while also contributing to the decarbonisation of the construction industry.

To ensure the primary method of removal of the material can take place by rail rather than local roads, the existing rail connection on the site will be refurbished.

Planning applications could be submitted to Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council in the coming months, with Banks hoping to be able to start work on site by 2024 if they are approved.

Stokes added: “Thorpe Marsh’s existing grid connection and its proximity to where much of the energy that will be produced by the east coast’s growing portfolio of wind farms will come ashore makes it an excellent location for this project.

“We are excited to develop designs for what we believe will be the UK’s largest battery storage facility.”

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