Release date: 23 March 2021
The County Council has rubber stamped the plan to turn a former council waste site in Sompting into a state-of-the-art energy storage facility.
Work will begin later this year to turn the former Halewick Lane waste transfer station into a secure location for large batteries that will store surplus energy and release it to the electricity grid when it is needed to power our homes and businesses.
The batteries will connect to the grid and enable electricity supply and demand to be carefully balanced during the natural peaks and troughs in wind and solar energy production. Providing this service to the grid operators will generate income for the County Council.
The County Council-owned site will be developed in two phases, the first of which will be a 12MW battery system. Work to install the cable to connect the batteries to the grid is expected to begin before June.
The authority will then have the option to expand the system within the footprint of the former waste site. Developing the site in this way will enable the County Council to take advantage of future advances in battery technology and new opportunities in the energy market.
Deborah Urquhart, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “With site demolition and preparation complete, I’m delighted that we can now look forward to a new and exciting phase for Halewick Lane.
“By using the site in this way, we are making efficient use of our existing resources and generating income while supporting the transition to clean energy in line with our Climate Change Strategy. Projects such as this also make an important, lasting contribution to our effort to reduce carbon emissions in West Sussex.”
The County Council is currently procuring a contractor to complete the design work and build the site. Construction is expected to begin in the summer.
Halewick Lane is the County Council’s latest clean energy project following the development of solar farms at Tangmere and Westhampnett near Chichester and a successful programme to install solar panels on more than 80 schools to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. These projects currently generate more than £1.5 million per year to invest in council services.
The authority is also supporting residents to switch to solar power through the Solar Together Sussex group buying scheme. This provides a reliable, council-supported route to installing high quality, competitively priced solar panels and battery storage systems for the home.