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Exagen submits plans for Normanton Energy Reserve

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Energy Global,

Following a period of public consultation and planning assessment, Exagen has announced that plans for the Normanton Energy Reserve, a 500 MW/1 GWh grid scale battery site on land to the northeast of Earl Shilton, Leicestershire, the UK – has been submitted to Blaby District Council. With plans for further consultation with the local community, the site is a blueprint for co-locating energy with community green spaces and boosting biodiversity.

Once built, the battery will be one of the largest in the UK and capable of powering 235 000 homes for two hours, the same number of homes as in Sheffield, or 80% of the homes in Leicestershire, the county in which it is situated.

The £350 million battery site, which is around 10 times larger than the majority of battery projects currently providing storage for the grid, will connect directly to the transmission network, playing a vital role in managing natural fluctuations in intermittent renewable energy. Sites like this are essential in helping the UK to transition to net zero and securing a home-grown energy supply, easing its reliance on foreign fossil fuels, and addressing fuel poverty.

Exagen, a UK developer of renewable energy, is committed to a community-based approach, with plans to use approximately 45% of the 19 acres of land to improve biodiversity. This will include extending Normanton Millennium Wood with construction of a new permissive path open to the public, as well as the option of wildflower meadows, providing land for beekeeping and new hedgerows and tree planting. The project will deliver a more than 44% net gain for biodiversity habitat units, compared with the existing baseline habitats.

The company will also establish a dedicated community fund to spend on improvements in the local area, such as sponsoring education courses for the skills the UK will need to develop renewable projects in the future. In order to decide how the land and fund is used, the company will consult with local communities, inviting citizens in the area to have their say.

The project will be energised and connected to the grid in 2028, with much of the construction being in the year before this, however earthworks and landscaping would be implemented in advance to allow time for the planting to establish and begin to mature before the main development is constructed. Exagen will look to partner with local businesses on the project, inviting local contractors to get involved.

Mark Rowcroft, Development Director at Exagen, said: “We’re committed to transforming energy for good, bringing batteries onto the grid to ensure we can store energy and keep the lights on when the sun does not shine or the wind does not blow. That is why we are excited to work with local communities and businesses to ensure the project is not only bringing clean, home-grown energy onto our grid, but that the site is also benefitting the local area.

“Over the next few months, we will be announcing a variety of opportunities for individuals and businesses to get involved. We look forward to hearing from those in Thurlaston, Earl Shilton and the surrounding area about how we can make this site best work for them long term”.



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