A RENEWABLE energy development company is looking to set up home at an industrial and business site in Dumfries.
Geocore, which specialises in utility scale battery storage, solar power, and green hydrogen, has submitted a planning application to create a green energy production site at Kellwood Road Business Park.
The firm is seeking approval from Dumfries and Galloway Council for the formation of a battery storage system facility, including the erection of a control building, 2.5m high fencing, and three pole mounted CCTV cameras.
The facility would include the siting of 20 battery storage units, ten inverter units, and there would be other associated works involved in the project.
The company was formed in 2021 and its website states: “Our aim is to facilitate the development of necessary renewable energy infrastructure, which will produce carbon neutral green energy, improve energy security, improve access to energy, and to mitigate climate change.
“Geocore has multiple large scale sites across Scotland, all at different stages of development.”
The application site is located to the rear of a number of established businesses situated within Kellwood Road Business Park, and the land extends to approximately ten hectares.
The Dumfries to Carlisle railway line runs to the north of the application site, while there are four residential properties in Caledonian Place, which are close to the application site boundary to the south-west.
Two of those householders have written to the council’s planning department, objecting to the development.
They argue that it would adversely affect the residential amenity, and added: “Being surrounded by the bus station, railway line, and the busy Eastfield Road, the proposal would double the noise level.”
The residents also shared health and safety concerns about the potential for fire or explosions with the proposed batteries, and worry that the CCTV will overlook their rear gardens.
However, council planning officer Robert Duncan has recommended that the energy production development is approved subject to an appropriate legal agreement being signed within six months of the decision.
In his case report, due to be tabled at next week’s planning committee, Mr Duncan wrote: “The proposal would have a 40MW electricity storage capacity in total, and a proposed operational lifespan of 40 years, after which point it is intended that all infrastructure would be removed from the site which would then be restored.
“It is provided within the submission that the stated reason for the application is that the proposal allows for an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to Scotland’s national renewables target, has minimal environmental impacts and delivers the benefit of being able to manage the grid system far more effectively.”
If approved next week, it appears unlikely that the development would begin any time soon as Geocore Ltd has requested that any condition on setting the timeframe for the development starting should be within five years, rather than the standard three years.