Strathruddie

Solar Farm

Welcome

The  Strathruddie Solar Farm for up to 25MW and up to 20MW battery storage development by Kinglassie in Fife, was approved unanimously by Fife Council at committee on the 16th March 2022.  Prior to submission Renewable Connections undertook consultation with the local community and invited feedback on the proposals.

Strathruddie Solar Farm will make a meaningful contribution to Fife’s energy needs by delivering green energy up to 7,000 homes annually. Over the lifetime of the project, it will save an estimated 440,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted.

Once operational the project will have a lifespan of up to forty years.

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

We hosted a virtual community consultation event on September 2nd 2021. Here is the link to the recording from the event.

Quick Facts

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11,000 tonnes of CO2 saved annually

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24,753 megawatt hours supplied each year

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Equivalent annual energy needs of up to 7,000 homes

47 hectares of land enhanced for native wildlife

Location

The site proposed for Strathruddie Solar Farm comprises agricultural land located to the west of Kinglassie, Fife.

A number of environmental assessments and feedback throughout the development phase helped inform the final project design.

Our Proposals

Once built the solar farm will have a capacity of up to 25 MW and the battery storage element 20MW.  The solar farm  will be operational for up to 40 years. After that time, all 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 2.8m 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
September 2020

Stage 2

Preliminary Surveys
April 2021

Stage 3

Pre-application
May 2021

Stage 4

Community Consultation
August 2021

Stage 5

Submission
November 2021

Stage 6

Construction
September 2023

The need for the project

Following the UK 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. The Scottish Government have further set an ambitious target of net-zero emissions by 2045.

Fife Council declared their own climate emergency in September 2019 acknowledging that urgent action is required to limit the environmental impacts produced by the climate crisis.

Solar is one of the cleanest, lowest cost forms of energy available. Strathruddie Solar Farm would make a meaningful contribution to Fife’s energy needs by delivering green energy of up to 7,000 homes annually. Over the lifetime of the project, it would save an estimated 440,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted.

FAQs

Why this location?

This site was identified following extensive site selection across Fife 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 Central Fife 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

strathruddiesolar@renewableconnections.co.uk
Telephone: 01383 630334

Strathruddie Solar,
141-145 Curtain Road,
London,
EC2A 3BX

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