This morning Kentonline reported on Graveney Solar Farm
They reported CHSP Ltd :- But bosses at Cleve Hill Solar Park say they are working with an industry leading battery supplier for the project’s energy storage proposals and have been provided reassurances on safety standards.
"In conjunction with these experts we have produced a battery safety management plan which has been consulted on and agreed with the Health and Safety Executive and Kent Fire and Rescue Service," they add.
We have submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Health and Safety Executive
We have the following statement from Kent Fire & Rescue This was received from the Kent Fire and Rescue Service on 13th February 2020, which is long after the Examination process concluded. We have seen no evidence to support the claim reported to have been made by Cleve Hill.
From: Brown, David <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: 13 February 2020 12:29
Cc: Operational Planning <email@example.com>;
Subject: RE: Contact Details KFRS
Hi Marie, thank you for your email and apologies for my delayed response.
Our position currently is as outlined by Matt below in that we have not been formally approached nor in any consultation process for this site at this moment in time. We will keep an eye on the ‘development consent order’ and will engage accordingly with both planning and developer.
David Brown AIFireE
Group Manager I Operational Planning
Kent Fire & Rescue Service
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I have lobbied my MP asking her to support the banning of lithium battery storage nationally near concentrations of population and she passed my concerns onto the Secretary of State dealing with Cleve Hill. He replied, citing the solar farm's builders that there were in place plans, which totalled 7 different measures on top of the usual H&S issues, to mitigate the possibility of fires or their consequences. I pointed out that these measures would need to be adequate in design, produced at a high standard, maintained and monitored at a high level of quality, and looked after by adequately trained staff with resources available for repairs and replacement as needed over a 40 year period the planned life of the project. Thats quite an undertaking and the possibility of failure of any one of these measures is surely a risk not worth taking especially as the Vanadium alternative is available.
Nationally there are numerous storage projects planned and indeed it is seen by Government to be a natural and inevitable next step for renewables. The multiplication of possibilities of one of these lithium facilities catching fire must increase with the increase in volume and I think we should continue to lobby for their exclusion near centres of population. Sooner or later an accident will happen and a Grenfell Tower type catastrophe might well ensue. We could start with our local MPs banditry to get a cast iron guarantee from the Cleve Hill project that the measures planned will absolutely cut out the risk of a lithium fire. Good luck on that.
Anybody interested in finding out more about lithium fires should easily find information on Google or other search engines. Regarding lithium batteries, they are made with rare metals including cobalt. 60% of the world's supply comes from the notoriously misnamed Democratic Republic of Congo which is the subject of an Amnesty International investigation which has highlighted the extensive use and abuse of child labour in the cobalt mines. As for solar panels, they also use rare metals and are expensive and difficult to recycle so most end up in landfill. The information is all out there.
There are two things that worry me about his proposal. The first is that the energy storage system uses Lithium Ion batteries, a technology proven to be dangerous as evidenced by the 23 such fires that have been experienced in S Korea, the country where I believe they were manufactured. There is a much better product on the market which does not catch fire, it does not pollute the planet from its mining operations (unlike Lithium), it does not degrade so in theory will function forever, when it is time to be replaced the battery is 100% recyclable, it stores energy for much longer periods of time than Lithium, it can charge and discharge at the same time (unlike Lithium ones), it has a greater depth of charge and discharge, and the vanadium in each battery will probably be worth more at the end of the battery's life so will have value as an asset. The name of this technology? VANADIUM REDOX FLOW BATTERIES. And they are manufactured in this country.
My second concern is the fact that it has been reported that having this development will have huge financial benefits to the local authority. Now while this may have a lot of advantages to local services, I would hate to think that the thought of all that additional income might influence certain decisions.
Let's hope the decisions are the right ones and that if nothing else can be achieved the right battery storage system is chosen to replace the dangerous one.
I have just spoken with a gentleman from Cleve Hill Solar. I asked this gentleman if he knew what the solar panels are made of, he could not answer my question. I then asked him if they will be plugging into the nation grid if there isn't enough solar energy, he said yes. The whole idea of solar is not what it appears, there are many questions that need to asked. I find it quite astounding that this company do not know what their panels are made from?
Why are they relying on the national grid if these panels are so wonderful and are the answer to our future?
I have been reading about this planned development this morning in the Telegraph. I urge every single person to watch this film. It fully exposes the industry. Michael Moore is known for his leftist views and this investigation has opened his eyes. Make sure everyone shares the link please. I implore you all to stop this happening in Kent.
Michael Moore Presents: Planet of the Humans | Full Documentary | Directed by Jeff Gibbs
If your main concern is the fire and explosion hazards then lobby for the use of Vanadium batteries which cannot catch fire and are non toxic. From a commercial point of view vanadium doesn't degrade in efficacy and does not present the recycling problems associated with lithium batteries. Over a 25 year period lithium batteries will need replacing at least twice and will produce less and less electricity over time just like your phone batteries. There are quite a few manufacturers worldwide but a British manufacturer's website is here. I'm sure they would be only too pleased to answer any questions.
Personally I hope the whole scheme gets rejected but at least, if it passes planning, the safety issues could be vastly improved. Good luck