Renewable Connections is investigating the potential for a 49.9 MW solar farm near Quintrell Downs, Cornwall. Once operational, the project would supply enough power for the equivalent of over 17,000 homes and make a valuable contribution towards tackling the climate emergency.
As we prepare an application to submit to Cornwall 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. It may become possible to run additional consultation events in the future however, we are currently being very cautious due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We welcome any feedback you wish to provide so please do get in touch.
We hosted a consultation event on September 8th – See the links below to watch the webinar.
27,600 tonnes of CO2 saved annually
61,965 megawatt hours supplied each year
Equivalent annual energy needs of 17,000 homes
89 hectares of land enhanced for native wildlife
The proposed site sits on land to the north of the A3058, occupying several parcels of agricultural land approximately 89 hectares (220 acres). The area used for solar panels and ancillary infrastructure will be smaller than the total site area, but this will be informed by ongoing site survey and consultation work. Outside the panel are infrastructure areas extensive habitat and ecological enhancements are being proposed across the wider site area. The site is within the administrative area of Cornwall County Council.
Our plans are still being developed, designs will evolve as we gather local input and the results of our environmental assessments.
The solar farm would have and installed capacity of up to 49.9 megawatts (MW) and will be operational for up to 40 years. After that time, all of the installation will be removed and the land restored to its existing use, but with improved soil health and biodiversity.
The electricity generated will be exported to the national grid via underground cabling running from the site to the Indian Queens GSP located to the east of the A30. 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 approximately 3m 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 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 – July 2021
June – October 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.
Cornwall Council declared its own climate emergency on 22 January 2020 and aim to become carbon neutral by 2030 through numerous initiatives, including renewable energy. The Council are also preparing a Climate Emergency Development Plan Document which supports the principle of solar farms.
The principle of the Proposed Development is supported by national and local planning policy as well as the Government’s legally binding zero carbon 2050 target and the Council’s declaration of a climate emergency.
Solar is one of the cleanest, lowest cost forms of energy available. The Tregonning Solar Farm would make a significant contribution to UK’s energy needs by delivering green energy for the equivalent of 17,318 homes annually.
This site has been identified following extensive site selection across Cornwall and the South West 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. There are no public rights of way across the Tregonning solar site.
Renewable Connections is committed to maximising benefits for the local 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 support local initiatives and we would welcome any feedback on this.
Tregonning Solar Farm,
141-145 Curtain Road,