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03 Dec 2021

Explosion risk prompts planners to turn down Longford battery storage development

Explosion risk prompts planners to turn down Longford battery storage development

File Photo: Explosion risk prompts planners to turn down Longford battery storage development

Planning permission for the development of a battery energy storage system (BESS) in Longford has been refused owing to the risk of an explosion.

Low Carbon Storage Ireland Ltd had sought planning in July 2018 to develop the BESS within a total site area of up to 0.41 hectare at Ballykenny, Co Longford (near Clondra).

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However, Longford County Council planners this week cited two reasons for deciding to refuse permission.

They said they were ‘not satisfied that the proposed development, given its nature and the lack of fire safety information as requested, would not give rise to the risk of an explosion and/or fire hazard and pose a significant threat to public health, adjoining communities and power supply’.

Secondly, planners stated that ‘the lack of specific fire safety information could have a detrimental impact on the residential, agricultural and natural amenity of the area’.

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Low Carbon Storage Ireland Ltd has the option of submitting an appeal against Longford County Council’s decision of January 14 to An Bord Pleanala within four weeks.

Low Carbon Storage Ireland Ltd had proposed that the BESS at Ballykenny would include a single storey electrical substation building, a customer switchgear container, nine electrical inverter/transformer station modules (SKIDS), six containerised battery storage modules on concrete support structures, twelve heating, ventilation and air conditioning units (HVAC units), access tracks and upgraded site entrance.

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Their plan also included associated electrical cabling and ducting, security gates, perimeter security fencing, CCTV security monitoring system, landscaping works and all associated ancillary infrastructure.

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