Energy Minister Lord Bourne has granted planning consent to Halite Energy for the Preesall Underground Gas Storage Facility project in Lancashire.
The facility is proposed to be constructed on the east side of the Wyre Estuary at Preesall in Lancashire and will be used to store and extract gas from local underground salt caverns.
Preesall would be a demand-response facility, with gas entering the national system in response to market conditions.
Halite Energy proposes to store up to 900 million cubic metres of gas in salt caverns under the River Wyre.
Lord Bourne, who is the minister responsible for energy planning consents, said: “Investment in new energy infrastructure is essential if we are to keep the lights on and bills down. This is a major project which will benefit the local economy by creating jobs and stimulating businesses.
“Gas is also the greenest fossil fuel and helps us lower our carbon emissions, which is important in the UK’s move to a cleaner energy future. In making this decision, DECC listened to all views and took into account further geological information that demonstrated the anticipated storage. We also considered an assessment by Senergy, an independent geological assessor, which suggested that the development was suitable for the local geology.”
Halite Energy welcomed the decision by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to approve the plans. Keith Budinger, chief executive of Halite Energy, said: “The decision is the culmination of more than four years of detailed work to demonstrate that this facility can be built and operated safely. We look forward to working with the local community to ensure that the people and businesses of Lancashire benefit from our project.
“We are currently reviewing the detail of the Development Consent Order and have no further comment at this stage.”
DECC had rejected the plans but the decision was quashed at High Court.