Projects under development and construction
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About the developer
Statkraft is at the heart of the UK's energy transition. Since 2006, Statkraft has gone from strength to strength in the UK, building experience across wind, solar, hydro, storage, grid stability and EV charging.
Statkraft is a global company in energy market operations, with approximately 5,700 employees in 21 countries.
Across our UK business we employ over 300 staff in England, Scotland and Wales and play a key role in helping the global business reach its goal of 9 GW of development wind and solar power by 2025.
About the project
Statkraft’s Greener Grid Parks are facilities where various services are provided to the national grid to enable higher utilisation of new renewable energy sources, which are vital to decarbonisation of our energy system, and reaching Net Zero carbon emissions in the UK by 2050.
Our grid network needs to keep up with the rapid progress renewables has made in the UK. Sometimes National Grid, as the electricity system operator, has been forced to shut down wind farms and run gas power stations to keep the system stable. More projects like this one at Spennymoor will mean that running gas powered stations will become a thing of the past.
Great Britain operates the fastest decarbonising electricity system in the world. Our Greener Grid Parks deliver a solution to the engineering challenge of removing fossil fuels from the UK's energy supply and maximising the amount of renewable energy that can be distributed through the grid.
This helps protect the environment whilst also reducing costs to consumers.
National Grid have identified the north-east of England as an area which requires more grid stabilisation due to the amount of renewable energy being generated. At Spennymoor, the close proximity to the substation avoids lengthy transmission cables, and ensures efficient connection to the grid whilst minimising disturbance and cost.
The Spennymoor site was selected by National Grid Electricity System Operator’s (NGESO) tender process in late 2022. If planning permission for Spennymoor Greener Grid Park is subsequently approved by Durham County Council, construction is likely to start in 2025
This project does not rely on any particular nearby electricity-generating projects (solar, wind etc) to operate.
It is not possible in advance to say where the electricity that will enter and exit the Spennymoor Greener Grid Park was generated
We expect the construction phase would last approximately 18 months.
The building will mainly consist of a and the colour will be selected for its ability to blend in with the existing substation building. We expect this to be moss green but is decided alongside input from the Council.
Now that we have submitted a planning application, Durham County Council is running a formal consultation on the proposals. You can view all the application documents here using the application reference [REF: DM/23/00745/FPA:].
If you have any questions about the plans, we would be happy to help. You can get in touch here.
The preservation of biodiversity and wildlife onsite is a top priority for Statkraft, which is why we are committing to provide ecological enhancements in order to obtain a net biodiversity gain to the site.
We have consulted with Durham County Council throughout the pre-application stage and are producing a Landscape Planting Plan to demonstrate the new boundary planting to accompany the Development.
As a global energy company, strategically focused on scaling renewable energy solutions, we believe that we can be instrumental in driving progress toward achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Though we have numerous initiatives that can be linked to different SDGs, our positive impacts are naturally concentrated around the goals for Climate Action (SDG 13).
We contribute directly to climate change mitigation by displacing fossil fuels whilst meeting growing energy demand.
Sustainable drainage measures including an attenuation pond will increase the amount of surface water which can be stored on site. Therefore, there will be less surface water runoff from the site than is currently the case. The Spennymoor Greener Grid Park equipment will be located in Flood Zone 1 (low risk).
An important part of our work during development is minimising any noise from equipment on site such as coolers and generators. There are several ways this can be achieved such as site layout, selecting the most suitable equipment and using noise insulating materials. Specific equipment used on the site will be selected after planning consent has been granted. Once the technology suppliers have been selected, detailed noise studies will be carried out and provided to the Council. We are required to demonstrate that the development will not exceed noise limits set by the Council, and we work closely with the Council’s Environmental Health Officer (EHO) throughout the process. Throughout the operating life of the project noise levels are controlled by the Council through a condition attached to the planning consent.
Safety and traffic
Once the facility has been constructed, there will be minimal vehicle trips to the site during the operation of the development. There will be occasional visits for maintenance and inspection of the facility but the site will generally be unattended, so there will not be noticeable impact on traffic flows in the area.
The Transport Statement is still being produced and will be submitted as part of the planning application with details on deliveries. Before construction starts, a Traffic Management Plan will be secured by planning condition, and be produced to ensure main roads are used to reduce traffic flow in smaller towns and villages.
Details of the route to site, vehicle movements and mitigation measures will be provided in the Traffic Management Plan prior to construction. Main roads will be used as much as possible to avoid traffic flow through towns and villages.
Abnormal load vehicles will arrive at night to avoid disruption to traffic flow in the area. HGV delivery timings and any restrictions will be agreed with the Council and Local Highway Authority and conditioned via the Traffic Management Plan.
Service personnel will drive to site in small vehicles so there will be discernible impact to existing traffic levels. We do not envisage any HGV’s visiting the site in the first few years of operation, and will only be required for major refurbishments if required.
Once operational, the site is expected to be attended by a service technician only for essential maintenance.
We will work to keep noise levels from the site to a minimum as much as possible. We cannot guarantee that there will be no weekend working during construction, but we will seek to minimise this noise if this is permitted and required. We will follow all conditions imposed by the County Council on construction activities if our application is successful.
No, the lights will be installed with motion sensors and will not be in constant illumination to prevent light pollution. Once operational, the site is expected to be attended by a service technician only for essential maintenance.
Safety is our priority, which is why all of our sites are fitted with controls which monitor the site 24/7 and can remotely shut down the system.
There will be stringent emergency measures in place, which are outlined in the emergency plan produced before construction starts. In addition, we will have Senior Authorised Persons (SAP) with sufficient competence who will be responsible for the site.
We will also engage a local security company to respond to security alarms within a set time frame.
Statkraft are aware of specific battery fires that have been reported globally. Incorporating experiences and lessons from these fires was a key factor in the design of our Kilathmoy and Glencloosagh BESS projects(External link) in Ireland for example.
The same processes and Health and Safety assessments will be a part of the Spennymoor project, including the appropriate liaison with the local Fire Brigade. Our Health and Safety Teams including the Principal Designer, will follow Construction Design and Management 2015 (CDM) regulations and have in-depth involvement in the project to prevent fires and Health, Safety, Security and Environmental (HSSE) risks.
Some of our standard fire safety measures have been included within the Planning Statement which will be submitted to the Council with our application. In addition, a Spennymoor fire safety strategy will be produced prior to construction.
Statkraft will implement procedures and plans for emergency situations and will run regular emergency preparedness exercises in order to ensure that all personnel in the organisation, including third parties, are aware of how to act and react if any unplanned situations should occur.
Cooperation will be established with local emergency services to ensure there is an understanding of the technology and fire safety plan put in place.
Some examples of measures we would take include:
- To separate transformers from adjacent structures and from each other.
- Resistance barriers (fire wall), spatial separation, and provided with an enclosure.
- Spatial separation between the transformer and the synchronous compensator building or the facing elevation wall of the building.
- Automatic fire, gas and smoke detection (beam based) within the buildings.
- Automatic fire suppression (e.g. water and/or gas-based sprinklers) within the buildings.
- Use of fire-resistant non-combustible materials/enclosures around the components.
- 24/7 remote control of the temperature of the components.
- Regular maintenance and testing of BESS
A detailed design risk assessment with specific and detailed risk mitigation will be carried out at the design stage. Fire safety measures will be detailed within the planning statement and will be detailed further within the fire safety strategy report with the input from all suppliers and the Statkaft operations team.
Greener Grid Parks stabilise the grid without using fossil fuels – this reduces our environmental impact and saves consumers money. In addition, we are pleased to be able to offer a fund of £20,000 per year for the benefit of the local community, you can find out more here. There is also a significant investment during construction and we are proud of our approach to using local suppliers.
National Grid spend millions per year stabilising the grid by turning fossil fuel plants on, but with this revolutionary technology at Spennymoor, we can save consumers money whilst supporting National Grid’s target to operate a zero carbon grid by 2025. The system operator, NGESO, state that their Stability Phase 1 Pathfinder Tender would save consumers up to £128m. You can find out more about the need for grid stability services on the National Grid ESO website.
With Greener Grid Parks providing grid stability, this reduces the need to turn on fossil fuel power stations - so this project will also significantly contribute to the UK Government’s 2050 Net Zero target.
If you have an idea for any other benefits the development could potentially deliver we would be happy to discuss this further with you.
Yes. We have a 'Local suppliers registration link on the website so please complete that if you are a local business and interested in the project, or would like to recommend one.
We will work with groups such as the Chamber of Commerce to maximise opportunities for local suppliers.