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We’re planning a battery storage facility in North West Birmingham

Category: Battery Storage EV Charging Energy Superhubs Bustleholme
date: 27 July 2020

Why are we building a battery storage facility?

Battery storage is essential to enable greater use of renewable energy and meet the UK Government’s legally binding target to end the country’s contribution to climate change by 2050. The technology automatically charges and discharges throughout the day to help National Grid manage peaks and troughs in electricity supply and demand. It will also deliver economic benefits, helping to create a smarter, more flexible energy system which could save up to £40 billion by 2050.

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How will North West Birmingham benefit?

This battery storage facility will help to ensure clean, affordable and secure electricity supplies in the North West Birmingham area and beyond, as polluting coal and gas-fired power stations close and more intermittent renewable energy is brought onto the grid.

It will also provide additional power capacity to support the installation of an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network. This won’t be delivered on-site, but will involve a private wire delivering power to locations to the north west of Birmingham to enable ultra-rapid public charging hubs and fleet charging, which will bring additional investment, employment and visitors.

Initial discussions are underway with Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, neighbouring councils and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) to maximise the opportunities for the project to support the region’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and create sustainable jobs and economic growth.

Sandwell will be one of the earliest communities in the country to benefit from this unique infrastructure investment, following on from the development of Pivot Power’s first site in Oxford. Energy Superhub Oxford is a pioneering project being developed in partnership with Oxford City Council and forms part of a national programme of up to 40 sites being developed by Pivot Power to deliver up to 2 gigawatts of battery storage. The programme is of national importance to support the UK energy transition and respond to the climate emergency.

Where is the site?

The proposed application site comprises approximately 1.42ha of land directly to the east of National Grid’s Bustleholme substation. Access is via Painswick Close, the existing access road connecting the Bustleholme Substation with Woodruff Way. The land currently comprises an area of open grass field and existing hardstanding.

Although the site does not include any statutory protected sites, the site is located in close proximity to an area of ancient woodland that wraps around the north end of the site. The proposed development will not have any impact on the ancient woodland and all mature trees surrounding the application site will be retained to provide screening and biodiversity value.

Construction will take approximately three months, and once operational will require infrequent maintenance only.


What will the development consist of?

The development will consist of a number of battery storage units of less than 3m in height and associated electrical infrastructure, surrounded by a 2.4m security fence. Nine CCTV camera poles measuring 4.2m high will be erected. The batteries are connected directly to the substation. It will look similar to the below.


What impact will this project have on the surrounding environment?

In consultation with the Council, Pivot Power has undertaken a range of detailed environmental studies to ensure that no significant environmental effects will arise from the development.  This includes assessments of ecology and drainage.  A visual assessment has confirmed that the batteries will have minimal visibility from public viewpoints.

Following submission of the planning application, we will now work with the Council to answer any questions that may arise.

How can you find out more?

We are keen to discuss the development and address any concerns that local residents may have. If you have any questions about the project please email us at

Here are some of the key planning documents providing more information about the development:

Planning, Design and Access Statement

Aerial site plan

Site layout plan

Full details of the planning application can be viewed on Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council’s website using reference DC/20/64437.

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