Renewable Connections is investigating the potential for a 26 MW solar energy farm near Irchester, Northamptonshire. Once operational, the project would supply enough power for the equivalent of over 8,000 homes, and make a valuable contribution towards tackling the climate emergency in Northamptonshire.
As we prepare an application to submit to the Borough Council of Wellingborough, 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.
29,700 megawatt hours supplied each year
Equivalent annual energy needs of 8,300 homes
7,656 equivalent cars taken off the road
The proposed site sits across approximately 65 hectares (161 acres) of land to the east of London Road (A509), west of Irchester. The solar farm panels themselves would likely only cover approximately 25 hectares (62 acres) of this area. The final location of the solar panels will be informed by ongoing site survey work and in consultation with the planning authority and the local community. Outside the panel and infrastructure areas extensive habitat and ecological enhancements are being proposed across the wider site area.
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 26MWp 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.
November 2019 – March 2020
June 2020 – July 2021
June 2021-September 2021
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.
Solar is one of the cleanest, lowest cost forms of energy available. The London Road Solar Farm would make a meaningful contribution to UK’s energy needs by delivering green energy to over 8,300 homes annually.
This site has been identified following extensive site selection across Northamptonshire 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 Northamptonshire 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.
+44 (0)20 7749 2400
London Road Solar,
141-145 Curtain Road,