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Home » Plans For Second Huge Solar Farm And Battery Storage Site In North Notts

Plans For Second Huge Solar Farm And Battery Storage Site In North Notts

A developer has announced plans for a huge solar farm and battery storage site in north Nottinghamshire, just days after a consultation was launched for another one less than 20 miles away.

Elements Green wants to create what it has called the Great North Road Solar Park on fields near to the A1, to the northwest of Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, and encircling the village of Caunton.

If it went ahead it could be built up the road from another £224 million “nationally significant” solar power and battery storage site that renewable energy company RES wants to build near to the West Burton Power Station and the village of Sturton-le-Steeple.

Elements Green said its site could power around 400,000 UK homes per year – compared to RES’s 150,000 homes a year – and help avoid 250,000 tonnes of CO2 going into the atmosphere each year.

The project would connect into the existing National Grid substation at Staythorpe, Nottinghamshire. An initial consultation into the proposals will take place in early 2024.

Mark Noone, project director for Great North Road Solar Park, said: “The UK Government has set ambitious and legally binding targets to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050.

“More renewable energy is needed to fast-track away from fossil fuel, and the Government’s stated ambition of increasing the nation’s solar capacity fivefold to 70GW by 2035 recognises the important role large-scale solar development will play in achieving this.

“Our proposals for Great North Road Solar Park build on the Trent Valley’s long history of powering the UK.

“With an installed capacity of over one gigawatt (GW) DC the scheme offers an effective, clean solution that would help secure the UK’s future energy needs, contributing 1.5 per cent towards the government’s 2035 solar PV target.

“Stepping up the production of sustainable, home-grown electricity it would also contribute to tackling the cost-of-living crisis head-on through the reduction of household energy bills.”

Elements Green said it had identified multiple parcels of land to the north of the A617 and the west of the A1 to deliver the scheme.

Work is underway to determine suitable areas for accommodating the principal components of the solar park which include solar photovoltaic panels (PV), an on-site energy storage facility and associated infrastructure to connect the scheme to the national grid at Staythorpe substation.

If it got the green light the business said there would be “significant” biodiversity enhancements including tree planting, wildflower meadows, and wetland areas.

Mr Noone said: “We believe that local communities have an important role to play in helping to inform and influence how our proposals for Great North Road Solar Park evolve.

“We want to deliver this project responsibly and are committed to consulting as widely and effectively as possible, working together with residents, businesses and community organisations to improve and enhance our proposals as our plans for the project progress.

“We’re extremely keen to hear about any initiatives we could support or deliver to benefit those communities closest to the development through our community benefit scheme, known as NG+, which will be directly linked to this project.

“NG+ would make available in the region of £1 million per annum to provide grants for residential and commercial energy efficiency measures and small-scale renewable energy schemes, through to supporting community projects, apprenticeships, school and college programs, to woodland, biodiversity, and archaeology projects.

“This is in addition to the making an estimated contribution of circa £1.5m-£3m in business rates to the Newark and Sherwood district. The project would not rely on any form of government subsidy.”

Great North Road Solar Park is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project because the amount of electricity it could generate exceeds 50MW, so would need a Development Consent Order from the Planning Inspectorate – rather than local council approval.

Ultimately, the Secretary of State for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero would decide whether to grant consent.

It is anticipated that the development process will take between two and three years and, if permission is given, construction would start around 2027.

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