Battery Energy Storage System proposed on land at Pittlesheugh Farm

Thursday April 25th 2024

Pittlesheugh Farm bid

The proposed BESS at Pittlesheugh Farm.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Paul Kelly

Concern over the loss of arable farmland was one of the issues raised during public consultation over a proposed Berwickshire energy system, it has emerged.

A planning bid for the construction and operation of a 340MV Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on land at Pittlesheugh Farm, 1.75km north of Eccles and 8.5km west of Coldstream, has been submitted to Scottish Borders Council, although ultimate say on the application is within the jurisdiction of Scottish Ministers.

The proposed development would be temporary in nature with consent being sought for an operational period of 40 years, after which the site would be decommissioned and restored to its current state.

The proposed BESS would accommodate up to 94 groups of ten battery storage cabinets, 100 Power Conversion Units (PCUs) along with ancillary structures.

A report with the application says: “The proposal would not generate electrical power and, as such, does not represent a form of electrical generation infrastructure. Rather it would draw electrical power from the electricity grid and then store this and release it back on to the grid, as required.”

During consultation last year concern was raised over the loss of farmland.

The report states: “The construction of the project would lead to the loss of 9.51 hectares of arable farmland.

“This would, however, be temporary as the applicant is seeking a time limited consent for the project of up to 40 years after which the site would be restored to agriculture.

“In agreement with the Local Planning Authority a suitable bond will be put in place to provide funding for reinstating the land.”

The developer is local landowner Will Ramsay, whose family lives at Pittlesheugh Farm.

Mr Ramsay is involved in the local community, sitting on the committee of the Berwickshire Civic Society, as chair of Berwickshire Races, and as chair of local charity Admiral Ramsay Museum. Previously, he initiated and chaired a charitable community pub committee, to save The Plough at Leitholm.

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