Energy storage—planning issues
Produced in partnership with Paul Maile and Duncan Williams of Eversheds Sutherland
Energy storage—planning issues

The following Energy guidance note Produced in partnership with Paul Maile and Duncan Williams of Eversheds Sutherland provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Energy storage—planning issues
  • How is energy storage currently dealt with in the England and Wales planning regime?
  • Future proposals/changes?
  • Planning issues for consideration

How is energy storage currently dealt with in the England and Wales planning regime?

There is currently no formal definition of energy storage or energy storage facilities within planning legislation or policy. In an area which is populated by emerging technologies, the absence of clarity has led to questions as to how such facilities should be treated within the regulatory regime which governs the electricity network, which in turn has a knock on effect as to how such a facility should be consented under planning law. This Practice Note is predicated on this present position, however we would note that a consultation was issued by government on 14 January 2019 (deadline for responses 25 March 2019) proposing various changes to the England planning situation for energy storage: Consultation on proposals regarding the planning system for electricity storage.

From a planning perspective this lack of clarity raises issues in respect of larger schemes, where storage facilities are developed alongside existing power stations, wind farms or solar parks, or where a number of storage facilities are developed on the same site. The issue centres on whether storage facilities constitute an electricity generating station. Historically, pumped storage projects have been considered as generating stations. Perhaps that is hardly surprising where water is pumped uphill and then falls through a generator, but should the