Kincraig

Solar Farm

Welcome

Renewable Connections is investigating the potential for a solar energy farm up to 21MW, 3 miles south of Ellon, Aberdeenshire.  Once operational, the project, would supply enough power for up to 6,000 homes and make a valuable contribution towards Aberdeenshire Council’s committed target of 44% net reduction in carbon emissions by 2025.

In November 2021 we consulted with the local community to inform them of our proposed plans and take on board their feedback. We have now submitted a planning application to Aberdeenshire Council (14th April 2022) and anticipate a decision in August 2022.

Quick Facts

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9,000 tonnes of CO2 saved annually

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21,377 megawatt hours supplied each year

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Equivalent annual energy needs of up to 6,000 homes

36 hectares of land enhanced for native wildlife

Location

The proposed development site covers 88 acres (36 ha) and is located on land at Kincraig Farm to the south of Ellon.

Our Proposals

The solar farm will have a capacity of up to 21MW and will be operational for up to 40 years. At the end of the project life, 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.

The PV solar arrays will have the flexibility to use either a fixed or tracker mounting system. If a fixed mounting system is used, the panels will run in uniform rows from east to west in order to maximise solar gain to the south. If a tracker mounting system is used, the panels will run in uniform rows from north to south in order to allow the panels to tilt on a fixed axis and follow the path of the sun during the day, increasing their efficiency and output. The maximum top height of the panels will be 3m above ground, and the minimum height of the lowest part of the arrays will be 0.5m.

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.

Project timeline

Stage 1

Site selection
November 2020

Stage 2

Preliminary Surveys
August-October 2021

Stage 3

Community Consultation
November 2021

Stage 4

Submission
December 2021

Stage 5

Construction
September 2023

The need for the project

The Scottish government declared a climate emergency in May 2019 and they further set a legally binding target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest. This means that in addition to the NetZero target for 2045, Scotland will reduce emissions by 70% by 2030 and 90% by 2040. Scotland will require substantial amounts of new, low carbon power sources to be built before 2045 in order to meet these commitments.

Aberdeenshire Council have a number of climate initiatives including:

  • An up to date Environmental and Climate Change Policy Climate change and sustainability – Aberdeenshire Council  The council is further demonstrating leadership through its Carbon Budget process which provides a mechanism to reach the target of 44% reduction in net emissions by 2025. The continued decarbonisation of the electricity grid is needed in order to achieve this reduction target.
  • A Local Climate Impact Profile (LCLIP) was completed in February 2019. The purpose of the LCLIP was to portray the ways that Aberdeenshire Council’s services are affected by weather events. It concluded that Aberdeenshire Council should consider developing a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy that outlines how it can manage the opportunities and threats associated with a changing climate.

Solar is one of the cleanest, lowest cost forms of energy available. Kincraig Solar Farm would make a meaningful contribution to Aberdeenshire’s energy needs by delivering green energy up to 6,000 homes annually. Over the lifetime of the project, it would save an estimated 380,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted.

FAQs

Why this location?

This site has been identified following extensive site selection across Aberdeenshire 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 Aberdeenshire 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.

Get in touch

kincraigfarmsolar@renewableconnections.co.uk
Telephone: 01358 202068

Kincraig Farm Solar,
141-145 Curtain Road,
London,
EC2A 3BX

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