PLANS to build a gas-powered peaking plant on farmland in south Monmouthshire have been submitted to the Welsh Government.

The proposed station in Sudbrook would provide back-up electricity to houses and businesses in the local area during times of peak demand.

Peaking power plants are temporary, with permission to operate for up to 25 years until a 'longer term strategy' is put in place.

Planning documents reveal that the standby generating station would have the capacity to generate around 20 megawatts (MW) of energy.

Energion Ltd, the firm behind the application, say such schemes will help with the transition from large scale coal and gas-burning power plants to renewable technologies.

According to the energy infrastructure developer only two percent of electricity was generated by coal in the UK, compared to 23 per cent in 2010.

A planning report says: “However, most forms of renewable electricity generation exhibit uncontrolled increases, or decrease, in output. The national challenge is to maintain the constant supply.

“The short-term hindrance of renewables is their intermittency. They are not yet able to provide a continuous supply of energy.

“The peaking gas proposal is effectively a balancing mechanism project to ensure the continued supply of electricity to local people and businesses during what is anticipated as being a volatile energy supply period of transition away from a predominantly fossil fuel bulk supply of energy.”

The site would generate electricity from 10 eight-foot high generators on land at Southbrook Farm in Sudbrook Road, adjoining the existing Sudbrook solar farm.

Energion estimate that the proposed station would only likely be in operation for around 1,200 hours a year, and that it is ‘extremely unlikely’ to operate between 11pm and 5am.

During the 12-week installation period, there will be three cranes delivered to the site, more than 30 deliveries by vans, lorries and heavy goods vehicles (HGV) deliveries, and five workers onsite per day.

Access to the site from Sudbrook Road to the north east would only be used during the installation process.

The report also says that the process contribution of the generators would not have a significant impact on air quality or noise levels.

A pre-application consultation drew six responses, with no objections raised by Portskewett Community Council or Monmouthshire County Council.

There were no responses received from Sudbrook residents or adjoining landowners.

Members of the public can still submit representations to the Planning Inspectorate by Saturday, July 16.