An electricity substation near Hatton which will provide back-up to the national grid for when renewable energies have difficulty, has been approved.
Councillors on East Lindsey District Council’s Planning Committee were told the 50MW gas-powered generator, in Panton Road, would only be turned on for short periods when the weather was ‘inclement’ – for instance during heavily cloudy skies or when there was a lack of wind.
George Harrison, speaking on behalf of Edge Power said the proximity of the generator to an existing gas distribution centre meant less power will be lost in transport.
He said: “The UK’s power stations and suppliers are shifting to low-carbon and renewable energy technologies. This is making energy supplies more intermittent and weather dependent.”
He said suppliers such as National Grid could not guarantee a supply as these moves went forward.
Standby power has been encouraged by government subsidies which Mr Harrison said ‘highlights how these are desperately needed’.
He acknowledged gas was not renewable but said it would be burnt intermittently.
He said National Grid had their own plans and pipes which limited the potential for the development to be built on their site.
Objecting, Peter Lawton said the development was not sustainable and would have an impact on visible amenity.
He criticised the burning of fossil fuel on land currently used for agriculture.
He said research shows gas-power will have to be phased out in the future and added that there are developing technologies which were cleaner methods.
He said the existing facilities next door have grown to be screened by trees, something the new build won’t be and said the visual impact will be similar to the power station in Spalding.
Councillor Jones said he was aware of the need for these schemes but added ‘it’s just a shame we have to slip this monstrosity in the middle of a field’.
Vice chairman councillor Dick Edginton said he understood the concerns but added that people on the coast often object to wind turbines for ‘spoiling the vista’ as well.
The station will be unmanned except occasional visits, however, a security company will be employed to guard the area.