RPS successfully secures approval for one of Europe’s largest battery energy storage system (BESS) facilities.

27 Jun 2023

We've successfully secured approval for one of Europe’s largest battery energy storage system (BESS) facilities.

Our multi-disciplinary team provided planning, EIA and environmental support services to help Alcemi deliver the 500MW Coalburn Energy Storage Facility in South Lanarkshire, southeast of Glasgow, Scotland. 

The two-hour 500MW/1,000MWh facility will begin construction in the coming months, subject to finalisation of design details.

The project’s location was chosen to support the national transmission system by limiting the impact of network constraints. It will enable the storage and use of excess renewable electricity, resulting in a positive GHG impact of approximately 1,688,612 tCO2e savings over the assumed facility lifetime.

Bridging the gap between fluctuations in supply and demand, and facilitating the deployment of greater renewable energy generation capacity, the facility will assist the energy market and balance requirements. It'll do this by aiding the transition to a low-carbon future through the reduction of emissions, and ensuring resilience to potential future changes in climatic conditions, whilst helping reduce energy costs for customers.

We acted as the sole consultant, led by members of the National Planning & Infrastructure planning, design and EIA teams, with support from a wide range of RPS environmental disciplines. This included acoustics, hydrology, ground conditions, ecology, heritage, landscape & visual, transport and sustainability.

The project has undergone an extensive environmental impact assessment to ensure it meets the highest sustainability and safety standards. It benefits from a ‘Rochdale Envelope’ approach to design, to ensure flexibility to accommodate the rapidly evolving battery technology advancements, and will introduce extensive landscaping measures and ecological habitat, to limit the visual and environmental impact.

A highly collaborative working approach was adopted with the client, funders, technical advisers, and technology specialists over the past three years, taking a pragmatic and flexible approach to overcome many complex issues and secure a Section 36 consent with deemed planning approval through the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit.

Alcemi will develop the project in partnership with renewable energy investment firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) via its Flagship Funds. Alcemi and CIP have partnered for the development, construction and operation of a 4GW portfolio of UK energy storage assets. The 500MW energy storage site is the fruition of this partnership, being the first of several similar projects throughout the UK, contributing to this growing portfolio and securing a significant ongoing work stream for RPS multi-disciplinary services.

Christopher Lecointe, Operational Director and Head of Energy Transition and Major Infrastructure – NP&I said: “We’re looking forward to the project’s completion and seeing the facility assist the UK’s drive for the efficient delivery of renewable energy. This challenging project’s scale and complexity with a focus on collaboration and careful environmental coordination play to the strengths and experience of RPS. Our multi-disciplinary team has risen to the challenge.

Contact: Christopher Lecointe or Jonathan Smith

E:  LecointeC@rpsgroup.com jonathan.smith@rpsgroup.com



Chris Lecointe

Chris LeCointe

Director of Environmental Planning T: +44 (0) 1235 821 888 Email

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