Renewable Connections is investigating the potential for a 49.9 MW solar energy farm at Church Farm, Rushcliffe Borough. Once operational, the project would supply enough power for 14,000 homes, and make a valuable contribution towards tackling the climate emergency in Rushcliffe Borough.
As we prepare an application to submit to Rushcliffe Borough Council, Renewable Connections is undertaking consultation to inform local communities of our proposed plans and invite any feedback. We will also be hosting virtual community information events to present our proposals and answer any questions given the COVID-19 pandemic.
We welcome any feedback you wish to provide so please do get in touch.
22,500 tonnes of CO2 saved annually
50,000 megawatt hours supplied each year
Equivalent annual energy needs of 14,000 homes
50 hectares of land enhanced for native wildlife
The proposed location of Church Farm Solar Farm is on 50 hectares of agricultural land at Church Farm, Rushcliffe Borough.
The surrounding area is predominantly characterised by agricultural land use however there are examples of industrialised land use in the immediate area including the Ratcliffe on Soar coal power station approximately 1km to the north and the Segro East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park to the west. The site is also located 1.4km from the East Midlands Parkway train station.
The site benefits from good natural screening on all sides, being enclosed by hedgerows and trees as well as portions of elevated topography. This has the effect of visually separating the site from the village. To the immediate western and north western site boundary, the site is screened by a raised railway line obstructing views from these directions.
The solar farm will be temporary and comprise of panels and associated equipment. In addition, a range of wildlife proposals will be introduced to greatly enhance the biodiversity of this area, creating news habitats and offering food and shelter to wildlife.
Our plans are still in the development stages, so our design proposals will evolve as we gather local input and the results of our environmental assessments.
If installed the solar farm will have a capacity of up to 49.9 MWp and will be operational for up to 40 years. After the time, all of the installation will be removed and the land restored to how it was before, but with improved soil health and biodiversity. The power generated will be exported to the grid via a substation connecting to existing powerlines which run through the site boundary. No new pylons will be necessary to facilitate the connection.
The solar panels will be installed in rows which run east to west through the site. These rows will be tilted towards the south to capture the maximum amount of solar irradiation possible. The total height of the panels will be no more than 2.75m above the ground with a gap of more than 0.8m above the ground at its minimum.
Small electric cabins will be located amongst the panels and these will be accessed by a network of crushed stone track which will run through the site. All of the panels will be surrounded by a deer fencing to protect the equipment from large animals entering the site. CCTV cameras will be located periodically around the site perimeter for security.
The development will also involve additional landscaping including hedgerow planting and improved biodiversity management. The site is currently pasture and arable land with low ecological value, however with the implementation of a Green Infrastructure Plan the site will be significantly enhanced for biodiversity by creating a range of new habitats, offering food and shelter to wildlife.
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.
In March 2020, Rushcliffe Borough Council made a commitment to work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030 as well as commitments to supporting local residents and businesses reduce their own carbon footprint.
Solar is one of the cleanest, lowest cost forms of energy available. Church Farm Solar Farm would make a meaningful contribution to Rushcliffe Borough’s energy needs by delivering green energy to over 10,000 homes annually. Over the lifetime of the project, it would save an estimated 700,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted. This is around the same reduction in carbon emissions as taking over 150,000 cars off UK roads.
This site has been identified following extensive site selection across Rushcliffe Borough which took into account environmental designations, local electricity network access and capacity, the physical characteristics of the site, and a supportive landowner.
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.
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.
No – solar is a passive technology which doesn’t produce any harmful by-products.
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.
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.
Renewable Connections is committed to maximising benefits for the Rushcliffe Borough Community. The project will support local businesses, provide enhanced business rates, and provide enhancements to wildlife. We will also establish a Community Benefit Fund to share the profits from the electricity sales to support local causes.
Church Farm Solar,
141-145 Curtain Road,