Renewable Connections is investigating the potential for a 40MW solar energy farm in Maisemore, Gloucestershire. Once operational, the project would supply enough power for 11,000 homes, and make a valuable contribution towards tackling the climate emergency in Gloucestershire.
As we prepare an application to submit to Tewkesbury 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.
18,000 tonnes of CO2 saved annually
40,000 megawatt hours supplied each year
Equivalent annual energy needs of 11,000 homes
80 hectares of land enhanced for native wildlife
The site proposed for Maisemore Solar Farm comprises agricultural land located to the south of Maisemore Village.
The River Severn and the A417 are located directly east of the site and the River Leadon runs along its southern and western boundaries. The village of Over and the A40 are located further to the south and Highnam village is approximately 500 metres to the west.
Preliminary designs maintain large setbacks from Maisemore Village to the north, and there is significant separation from the Severn and Leadon rivers which border the site to the east and south. Together with the landowner, Renewable Connections is proposing to set aside some 100 acres of land for a combination of permanent wetlands to support overwintering birds, and wildflower meadows to support pollinators and other native species. These measures will be particularly important in helping to manage flood waters which flood the site almost year round.
Renewable Connections is also proposing to create a new cycle and pedestrian access to link Maisemore to the Over Basin via an existing footbridge across the Leadon. Not only will this provide a valuable link to Gloucester, avoiding the busy A417, it will also provide recreational opportunities for Maisemore residents to walk along the Severn river.
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 40MWp 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.
Our site plans are still being developed and we welcome feedback on these before they are finalised.
Photographs of the site from various viewpoints in the local area are provided here.
Late 2022 / Early 2023
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.
Tewksbury Borough Council declared their own climate emergency on 13 August 2020 acknowledging that urgent action is required to limit the environmental impacts produced by the climate crisis. The Council has produced a 10 year action plan to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Solar is one of the cleanest, lowest cost forms of energy available. Maisemore Solar Farm would make a meaningful contribution to Gloucestershire’s energy needs by delivering green energy to over 10,000 homes annually. Over the lifetime of the project, it would save an estimated 315,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted. This is around the same reduction in carbon emissions as taking over 140,000 cars off UK roads.
This site has been identified following extensive site selection across Gloucestershire which took into account environmental designations, local electricity network access and capacity, the physical characteristics of the site, and a supportive landowner who is committed to sustainability, environmental stewardship and community benefits.
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 Maisemore 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.
3rd Floor, 141-145 Curtain Road,