Massive solar farm could cover 500 acres of farmland in South Derbyshire

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Proposals to create a huge solar farm spanning over 500 acres of farmland in South Derbyshire have been unveiled.

The proposed solar park is so large that the government will decide on its outcome, rather than South Derbyshire District Council.

The 540-acre site stretches north of Catton for almost a square mile to Drakelow, with Walton on the left and Rosliston on the right.

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For comparison, the England football team’s HQ in St George’s Park, near Burton, is only 200 acres.

Part of the site will be near the Rosliston Forestry Center.

It comes as another solar park application in Lullington, also in South Derbyshire, has been submitted to District Council for a 173-acre site.

The Catton plan is now in the very early stages of development, with the consultation phase having recently started. A scoping request, which sets out the proposals and considers the environmental effects, has been submitted to an independent planning inspection.

If agreed, further studies and assessments will take place as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. The EIA seeks to reduce, avoid and mitigate the identified environmental effects.

Due to the size of the project, an application to the Planning Inspectorate will be submitted under the Infrastructure Projects of National Importance (NSIP) scheme in 2022.

These projects are major infrastructure projects such as larger scale solar farms and power transmission lines, which require a type of consent known as ‘development consent’.



A map showing the scale of the proposed solar farm

For such a project, the town planning inspectorate examines the request and will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Affairs, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who will decide whether to grant or deny the authorization of the project. development.

Oaklands Farm Solar Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of BayWa re UK Ltd, is behind the request.

He said: “The proposals include a solar farm and energy storage covering 540 acres on two separate plots of land, connected to the national electricity grid by a new overhead cable.

“The expected production capacity of the project at this point is 163 megawatts of solar power and 37.5 megawatts of energy storage capacity.

“The project will connect to the national grid via an overhead cable to the Drakelow substation located to the north of the site

“The site extends over open farmland interspersed with and surrounded by a network of hedges.

“The solar farm would consist of rows of solar panels mounted on metal frames (tables) fixed in the ground by simple metal posts stacked about 2.5m high. Energy storage would include batteries and electrical components. housed in 15 to 20 steel shipping containers approximately three meters high, covering approximately two hectares of the site.

“The development will be designed to protect public pathways and the landscaping measures will include improving and improving the network of hedges around and within the site.”

Further details can be found by visiting https://www.baywa-re.co.uk/en/solar/oaklands-solar-farm#project-description



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