Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS)

As the UK moves towards sustainable energy methods, there is an increase in new technologies involving the storage of electricity, including Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS).

The UK Government has now published health and safety guidance for grid scale electrical energy storage systems.

The guidance aims to improve the navigability of existing standards and provide a clearer understanding of relevant health and safety standards that the grid scale electrical energy storage systems (EESS) industry, which includes lithium-ion batteries, can apply to its own process(es).

Grid scale battery energy storage systems

Whilst Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) is not a statutory consultee as part of the Local Authority planning process, the National Fire Chiefs Council encourages applicants and the local planning authority to have early engagement with the local Fire and Rescue Service, continuing throughout the planning process. This is outlined in the government guidance on planning for renewable and low carbon energy (opens in a new tab).

The National Fire Chiefs Council(NFCC) has produced guidance for Fire and Rescue Services which gives recommendations on Grid Scale Battery Energy Storage System Planning (opens in a new tab). This guidance is based upon a range of supporting materials including academic research, national and international standards, case studies and industry guidance. It relates specifically to grid scale (typically 1 MW or larger) BESS in open air environments, using lithium-ion batteries.

LFRS would expect that any pre consultation sent to us, outlines in the first instance how your proposed site meets the expectations of this guidance document. Once you have considered this document, and provided us with a detailed response, this will enable Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service to consult on your proposal.

The LFRSs expectation is that a comprehensive risk management process is undertaken by operators to identify hazards and risks specific to the facility and develop, implement, maintain, and review risk controls. From this process a robust Emergency Response Plan should be developed.

Whilst every site is different the NFCC guidance will be used by Fire and Rescue Services to evaluate the measures you propose. With early engagement and advice using the guidance, the risks posed to people, property and the environment can be planned for by you and control measures can be put in place to minimise disruption and harm to people, property and the environment.

Please email any queries or consultations regarding Grid Scale Battery Energy Storage Systems that are proposed to be or are in Lancashire, to