Planning application submitted for Elwy Solar Energy Farm
Solarcentury has now submitted the planning application for Elwy Solar Energy Farm, near St. Asaph in Denbighshire, Wales.
The application, which is classed as a Development of National Significance (DNS) will be reviewed by the Planning Inspectorate in Cardiff. They will assess the application and consult with a number of parties including Denbighshire County Council, where the development is proposed. Details of the application will soon be available to view online, should people wish to comment on it.
The land identified for the solar farm is north of the A55 North Wales Expressway and west of the A525 and has been carefully chosen for its potential to deliver high levels of solar-powered electricity to the grid. With a solar project of up to 62MWp proposed, the site would generate approximately 60 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power over 20,000 homes. Solarcentury is also proposing to install batteries at the site – to increase the flexibility of the solar farm and provide support services to the grid.
Public consultation for the project started in February 2020. Details were shared with members of the community via leaflets, letters, a project website and an online exhibition hall. The hall was open for 10 weeks throughout August and September 2020. Feedback from the community has helped shape the final plans.
Importantly a number of benefits are associated with the scheme. Solarcentury are working to create an investment scheme which, following construction, will allow local people and organisations to invest in the project to get a return over a specified time period. We also hope for the solar energy farm to provide local jobs and supply contracts as well as a community benefit fund to support local projects and causes.
Chris Banks, UK Business Development Manager at Solarcentury said: “In April 2019, the Welsh Government declared a Climate Emergency. Members of the Senedd have demonstrated their commitment to dealing with climate change and it’s important that companies like Solarcentury support that drive and determination to make a real and practical difference too. We think that Elwy solar energy farm could be a valuable part of the solution. Generating electricity from solar reduces dependence on fossil fuels, gives us a simple low risk source of home grown energy with predictable annual performance, and allows large amounts of clean energy to be delivered to the national grid”.
The DNS application will be reviewed in the coming months. The Planning Inspectorate will make a recommendation to the Welsh Government and the Minister for Housing and Local Government should be able to make the final decision before the end of the year. If planning permission is granted then Solarcentury will be able to construct the site and start generating renewable energy in Wales.