Exagen given green light for new 500MW / 1GWh battery storage project in Leicestershire

Highlights

  • The new 500MW / 1GWh battery site will be capable of powering 235,000 homes for two hours, equivalent to 80% of the homes in Leicestershire.
  • Approximately 45% of the 19-acre site will be set aside to improve biodiversity by extending Normanton Millennium Wood and creating wildflower meadows. The project will deliver more than 25% biodiversity net gain.
  • Exagen will establish a circa £4M[1] community fund to spend on improvements in the local area, with residents consulted on how the fund is used.

[1] The total figure over the lifetime of the project is dependent on inflation and the finalised energisation date. Assuming c2% inflation, an energisation date of 2029 and a 40-year consented life, this would total c£4million.

11 January 2024: Planning permission has been granted by Blaby District Council to UK renewable energy developer, Exagen, for a 500MW / 1GWh grid-scale battery energy storage project on land to the northeast of Earl Shilton, Leicestershire. The Normanton Energy Reserve will be one of the largest such projects in Europe and will serve the UK’s National Grid. The Planning Committee’s decision follows months of public consultation on plans for the site, which include new habitats, extensive new woodland and boosting local biodiversity by over 25%.

Once built, the battery facility will be capable of powering 235,000 homes for two hours – the equivalent of 80% of the homes in Leicestershire – making it one of the largest battery storage projects to be granted planning permission in the UK.

Woodland planting at Normanton Energy Reserve – Becca Leake

Learn more with Becca Leake from our Planning Team about how woodland planting will support the environment.

At Exagen, one of the core aspects of my role as a Project Planning Coordinator is to manage the environmental considerations through the design and planning stages of our renewable energy developments. Much of my time is spent analysing and assessing the environmental variables surrounding the land that we are developing.

In this article I discuss Normanton Energy Reserve, one of our recent projects, and how we aim to support wildlife and have a positive impact on the environment through our tree planting strategy.

Holly Lane Energy Park Press Release

Exagen submits planning application for the Holly Lane Energy Park, a hybrid solar and battery project that will deliver energy equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 11,000 UK homes.

The Holly Lane Energy Park will significantly boost biodiversity across the site, delivering a net gain of more than 123%, with plans for partnership with the local community.

  • The solar farm will have an export capacity of 28MW, the battery storage system will have an installed capacity of up to 75MW.
  • This is Exagen’s third large-scale renewable energy project submitted to planning in the last 10 months.
  • Exagen will be establishing a community fund to spend on projects or initiatives in the local area, with communities invited to input on how the fund is used.
  • Pre-application consultation with the local authorities and public consultation across three events during spring 2023 delivered optimised proposals for both the solar farm and battery storage site. Details on landscaping proposals are set out on landscaping plans submitted to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Warwick District Council.

Exagen continues to expand its current pipeline of 2.5GW of projects in development, supported by funding in 2022 from the Octopus Energy Development Partnership, part of Octopus Energy Generation which has a minority stake in Exagen.

Public consultation began in April 2023 and included three events and multiple meetings, gathering feedback from hundreds of residents and has enabled Exagen to design an appropriate development for the available grid capacity within the land available. The targeted engagement has also provided opportunity to understand locally important projects for the community benefit fund, to be tied to the project for its lifetime.

Mark Rowcroft, Managing Director of Exagen Development said

“Submission of the Holly Lane Energy Park is a very gratifying moment for Exagen. This is our third large scale renewable energy project into planning in the past year, demonstrating our commitment to meet the UK’s net zero goal and secure everyone’s supply of electricity for years to come.

This planning application is a culmination of months of consultation by our project team, local residents and the two local authorities to refine the project; fundamentally we want to build renewable energy generation schemes that work for communities. Next, we will continue to engage with the community as we establish our significant community benefit fund.”

Further details on the project can be found on the dedicated project webpage: exagen.co.uk/projects/holly-lane-energy-park/

Notes to Editors

To arrange interviews and for other information, please contact media@exagen.co.uk

About Exagen:

Exagen is building the next generation of utility-scale renewable energy and storage projects. It applies the latest technology to transform the energy sector and partners with farmers, landowners, and communities to build biodiversity-boosting projects that tackle the threat of fuel poverty, energy security and the climate emergency. Led by an experienced team of finance, renewable, and technology experts, Exagen provides solutions to some of the energy sectors biggest challenges, creating a renewable legacy based on people, technology, and positive environmental impact.

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