Enso Energy, through its subsidiary company Warley Green Limited, is proposing to develop a solar farm and battery storage facility on land south of Fen Lane, at Harrow Lane, Bulphan, Thurrock, East of England, England, RM14 3RE.
Introducing Bulphan Fen Solar Farm
The generating station would have an exporting capacity of up to 49.9MW for distribution to the national grid. This is equivalent to the annual electrical needs of approximately 17,000 family homes across Thurrock. The anticipated CO2 displacement is around 25,000 tonnes per annum, which represents an emission saving equivalent of a reduction in 8,035 cars on the road every year.
The battery storage system will supply electricity to the local electricity network at times of peak energy demand and help make the renewable energy output of the solar farm a secure and reliable part of the UK energy supply.
homes powered per year (equivalent)
tonnes of CO2 displaced per annum
We held an online public consultation webinar and Q&A session event on Thursday 24th September 2020. The webinar included a ten-minute presentation by the project team where they outlined the draft proposals. During the Q&A session which followed the webinar attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about the draft proposals – the webinar is available to watch by clicking the video below.
Our updated scheme design
Enso Energy would like to thank local residents for engaging in the pre submission consultation process.
In response to the feedback we received, we have updated the proposed design of the site to address a number of the issues raised. Where possible we have taken onboard the feedback and concerns of local residents and have made important changes. Notably we have removed areas of solar panels to increase the proposed buffer to neighbouring properties and located the inverters more centrally in the site.
In addition to reducing the area of the panels, the new design also offers:
- 99ha of sheep grazed grassland underneath and between the solar panels
- 21ha of grassland with wildflowers
- 1.1ha of new native woodland
- 2.9km of new hedgerow planting
- 5.9ha of skylark mitigation habitat
- Improvements to the footpath network including information boards and timber footbridge
Please find below an annotated image of the revised scheme design, which contains detail of all the changes made:
All feedback received will be recorded in the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) that we will be submitting as part of our planning application.
What are the features and benefits of the solar farm and battery storage facility?
The main benefits of the development proposed are summarised below:
- It will assist Thurrock Council to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with local, national and international targets.
- Contribute towards the security of energy supply in Thurrock Council through the provision of local, competitive renewable energy supply.
- The project will support the UK’s urgent need to transition to a low carbon future, producing significant amounts of renewable energy.
- Compared to arable farming, a solar farm gives land the opportunity for multiple uses. In addition to energy production, solar farms can support biodiversity by allowing small animals access to otherwise fenced-off land, with bird and insect fodder plants and wildflowers sown around the modules (visit www.solar-trade. org.uk/solar-farms).
- The proposed development’s panels will utilise an innovative tracking system, allowing the solar panels to track the sun from east to west, this increases electrical productivity by c. 20-25% when compared to traditional fixed solar arrays.
- No protected landscape, heritage or ecological designations will be affected by the solar farm.
- We anticipate that construction will be complete in approximately 6 months. This will typically require 8 HGV deliveries to the site each day, which will not be routed through local villages.
- The proposed solar farm will not require Government subsidy.
- Enso Energy is committed to using local suppliers during construction and operation where possible.
Getting to net zero
In May 2019 the Government declared an Environmental and Climate Change Emergency. At local levels many Councils, including Thurrock Council, have made their own similar declarations and are preparing action plans to tackle Climate Change and its effects. The UK Government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The ‘Climate Change Act 2008’ target was strengthened in June 2019 to require a 100% reduction in CO2 relative to 1990 levels by 2050 (also known as net zero). This will require a step change in all sectors of the economy, including energy generation. This legislative change builds on previous commitments made by the UK as part of the European Union (such as the ‘European Union Renewable Energy Sources Directive (2009/28/EC)) and United Nations (such as the ‘Paris Agreement’).
Despite good progress in the last decade, which has seen renewable energy significantly increase and for the first-time annual fossil fuel generation being outpaced by renewables, in 2020 renewables accounted for approximately 43% of the UKs generation. Further action is required urgently if targets are to be met.
Recent announcements and proposed changes in law to reduce carbon emissions by 78% by 2035 (bringing forward our current target by 15 years) and ambition to fully decarbonising our power system by 2035 is expected to further reinforce the requirement for change.
The continued deployment of solar farms and renewable energy technologies, including energy storage, more generally are recognised by the Government as a key part of the UK’s transition to achieving a low carbon economy and tackling Climate Change. To achieve net zero by 2050 it will require a rapid and expanded deployment of low-carbon electricity, including solar.
At Enso Energy we are making the idea of a country run on renewable energy a reality. We are one of the UK’s most experienced energy developers.
Our ambition is to use the latest solar technology to make a positive impact on our country and the communities we work with. We are firm advocates for renewable, low carbon, efficient, secure and sustainable energy that can be generated, stored and utilised locally. We are passionate about creating positive change for the UK’s energy requirements and carbon commitments.
Our innovative and entrepreneurial approach to subsidy-free renewable energy is assisting the country’s move towards a more secure renewable energy supply and accelerating our combined progress to net zero.
Our approach to consultation during the Coronavirus crisis
We are currently living through a pandemic, the likes of which the country has not experienced in living memory. Enso Energy agree with the recent guidance issued by the UK Government’s Chief Planner, which emphasised that planning applications that positively impact the country and local communities must continue to come forward.
Enso Energy believes that it is vital that local communities are able see and shape planning applications that may have an impact on them.
We therefore held a public consultation webinar and Q&A session, a recording of which can be viewed here. If you have any feedback on our draft proposals please fill in the form below.
Register for updates
Please provide your contact details if you wish to get a response. Any information provided will only be used for the purpose of the planning application to the Local Planning Authority and will not be disclosed with any third parties. Your contact details will not be listed on the planning application documentation.