Bubney

Solar Farm

Welcome

Renewable Connections received consent for a 30MW solar energy farm on land at Bubney Farm, Grindley Brook, Whitechurch in Shropshire.  Shropshire Council approved the application for Bubney Solar Farm in October 2021.  Once operational, the project will supply enough power for up to 9000 homes, and make a valuable contribution towards tackling the climate emergency in Shropshire.

As we work with our delivery partner, European Energy, through the pre-construction phases, we welcome any feedback from the local community to ensure the project is realised for the benefit of Shropshire.

We welcome any feedback you wish to provide so please do get in touch.

Quick Facts

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up to 12,900 tonnes of CO2 saved annually

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Equivalent annual energy needs of 9,000 homes

Location

Renewable Connections identified a site on land at Bubney Farm, Grindley Brook, Whitchurch, in Shropshire. A grid connection route will run from the north east to connect the proposed solar PV development to the existing Whitchurch substation located on the A41. This includes a simple cable route through the fields along the track and onto the A41.

 

The main site is located within gently undulating arable farmland. The Historical Park and Garden to the west of the site has a similar topography and as such it is anticipated that the existing woodland belt provides adequate visual screening.

There are various Public Rights of Way (PRoW) traversing the site which will be retained and remain unaffected by the development. These constraints have been taken into consideration and appropriate offset will be provided into the layout design for this development site.

Our Proposals

The approved development is for the construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of a ground mounted solar farm with a maximum export capacity of up to 30MW with potential battery storage. The proposed development would, typically, have a life of up to 40 years at the end of which the modules would be decommissioned and removed from the site.

There will also be some electrical connection infrastructure. A grid connection route to the north east to connect the proposed solar PV development to the existing Whitchurch substation located on the A41. This includes a simple cable route through the fields along the track and onto the A41.

To utilise the network capacity fully, it is proposed that battery storage is included as a second phase of development, this will store surplus energy in order to provide help to the grid during peak consumer usage.

As a general design principle for the ground mounted solar, the layout will be based on a bifacial panels fixed onto a single tracker mounting systems. The top height of the panels is expected to be c. 3m. The metal framework that houses the modules will be supported at intervals by single mounted posts approximately 3.5m apart. The posts will be driven into the ground at an approximate depth of 2.5 m. The cabling would be concealed in trenches. The arrays will be set within a 2.0m high stock-proof fence. The distance between the fencing and existing hedges will vary across the site and would typically be around 5m.

The approved proposals also include a package of landscape, ecological and biodiversity benefits that could include the installation of barn owl boxes, bird nesting boxes, beehives, log piles, restoration of traditional field boundaries, and other hibernacula such as small buried rubble piles suitable for reptile species, amphibians and insect life. Land between and beneath the panels can be used for biodiversity enhancements and seasonal grazing. Existing hedgerows surrounding the site will be bolstered with additional hedgerow and tree planting where required particularly along PRoWs. The new hedgerows would deliver biodiversity enhancements by providing green ecological corridors.

Construction material deliveries will arrive by small and medium HGV vehicles, whilst construction staff will arrive via commercial vans.

Construction of the scheme is anticipated to take no longer than 6 months.

Project timeline

Stage 1

Site selection
Spring 2020

Stage 2

Preliminary Surveys
Summer 2020

Stage 3

Pre-application
Summer 2020

Stage 4

Community Consultation
Summer 2020

Stage 5

Submission
Spring 2021

Stage 6

Construction
2024+

The need for the project

Following the Government’s declaration of an “Environment and Climate Emergency” in May 2019, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) advised that to meet ‘Net Zero’ targets, the UK will require substantial amounts of new, low carbon power sources to be built before 2050, up to four times that of today’s levels.

Shropshire Council declared their own climate in 2021 acknowledging that urgent action is required to reach their ambitious target to become climate neutral by 2030. Bubney Solar Farm can help support delivery of the Council’s climate objectives.

Solar is one of the cleanest, lowest cost forms of energy available. Bubney Solar Farm would make a meaningful contribution to Kent’s energy needs by delivering green energy to up to 9000 homes annually. Over the lifetime of the project, it would save an estimated 516,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted.

FAQ’s

Why this location?

This site has been identified following extensive site selection across Shropshire which took into account environmental designations, local electricity network access and capacity, the physical characteristics of the site, and a supportive landowner.

Will there be any impacts on local roads?

For a period of approximately 6 months during construction, there will be deliveries of equipment to site. Renewable Connections will put in place measures to manage impacts of construction traffic and these measures will be included in a Construction Traffic Management Plan that will submitted with the planning application. There will be infrequent maintenance visits to the site during operation.

Will there be any permanent impact?

Solar farms are temporary and the land will be fully reinstated to farmland once the equipment is removed at the end of the project life.

Does solar pose a health risk?

No – solar is a passive technology which doesn’t produce any harmful by-products.

How long will the project be there?

The development proposes a life span of up to 40 years. No later than this, the development would be decommissioned, and the site returned to solely agricultural use. A decommissioning plan will be provided with the planning submission.

Are solar farms noisy?

No – solar farms are not noisy, producing no more than normal background levels of sound similar to wind or distant traffic beyond the site boundary.

What are the benefits to the local community?

Renewable Connections is committed to maximising benefits for the local community including establishing a community benefit fund. As well the environmental benefits of producing low carbon green energy, the project can improve local biodiversity via wildflower meadow planting, hedgerow infilling, as well as other ecological enhancement measures.

Get in touch

bubneysolar@renewableconnections.co.uk
Telephone: 0800 254 5011

Bubney Solar Farm,
C/O Renewable Connections Developments Limited
3rd Floor,
141-145 Curtain Road
London
EC2A 3BX

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