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Scottish clean energy developer gets planning consent for Aberdeenshire battery storage facility



ILI Group has achieved planning consent for its planned 50MW energy storage project at Fordtown Farm in Kintore, Aberdeenshire.

The project was approved by the Aberdeenshire Council Garioch Area planning committee.

The company is already involved in 3GW of energy storage in Scotland through the development of three pumped storage hydro projects – the most advanced being Red John at Loch Ness, which is currently in planning – and a 1GW portfolio of battery storage.

Mark Wilson, chief executive at ILI Group, said: “This project brings our total capacity of consented battery projects to 250MW with a further 300MW in the planning process and 500MW in pre-planning.

“We have a comprehensive energy storage plan for Scotland with both ‘long-term’ energy storage which can supply energy to the grid for a number of hours at a time, like our Red John pump storage plant at Loch Ness, and ‘short term’ energy storage which can supply energy for minutes at a time, like our project here at Kintore,” he continued.

“Together, projects like these will supply the much-needed storage and balancing services to the grid network, helping energy security and enabling the next generation of renewables to proceed, ensuring Scotland can reach its net-zero targets”

Andy Lowe, chief commercial officer at battery optimisation provider Flexitricity, added: “The industry is experiencing a huge growth spur which is needed and will help us move towards a more flexible and greener energy system.

“National Grid ESO needs more of the rapid response flexibility that projects like ILI Group’s Fordtown battery are able to provide, to enable more renewable energy in the system and eventually reach net zero.”

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Separately, Scottish renewable energy company Red Rock Power has acquired the Benbrack onshore wind farm development in Dumfries and Galloway from RWE.

The project, located north of Carsphairn, is in late-stage development, with a potential capacity of around 72 MW and consent for up to 18 turbines.

Benbrack is the company’s second onshore deal in recent months, following the acquisition of a 50% share of 240 MW Överturingen wind farm in central Sweden in December.

Red Rock Power also owns the 50 MW Afton onshore wind farm located 8km away in East Ayrshire.

Chief executive Guy Madgwick said: “While we hope to expand our offshore capacity and move into other technologies, onshore wind remains a stable proposition and affordable source of clean energy and so continues to be a central component of our growth strategy.

“We look forward to engaging with local stakeholders and the supply chain in the coming weeks and months as we continue to finalise the wind farm’s design and prepare for construction.”

The detailed design of the wind farm – including height, number and location of wind turbines, as well as a construction timeline – is yet to be finalised.

Benbrack was first proposed in 2012 and secured consent in 2017, with further variations to optimise the project secured since.

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