Enso Energy, through its subsidiary company Iron Acton Green Limited, is proposing to develop a solar farm and battery storage facility on land north and west of Iron Acton substation, BS37 9TX.
Introducing Larks Green
It is estimated that the solar farm will generate approximately 49.9MW of clean renewable electricity per year for distribution to the national grid. This is equivalent to the annual electrical needs of approximately 17,000 family homes. The anticipated CO2 displacement is around 23,000 tonnes per annum, which represents an emission saving equivalent of a reduction in 7,400 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
Following the finalisation of the scheme design and a consultation programme with the local community, the planning application for Larks Green was submitted and validated in September 2020 (Ref: P20/13909/F).
In January 2021, we secured planning permission for a 49.9 MW solar farm at Larks Green. The full planning application is available for download here.
We held an online public consultation webinar and Q&A session event on 3rd July 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.
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 South Gloucestershire Council to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with local, national and international targets and its declared Climate Emergency.
- Contribute towards the security of energy supply in South Gloucestershire Council through the provision of local, competitive renewable energy supply.
- The management of the Ladden Brook will be repurposed toward nature with new planting and habitat creation, with the proposed permissive footpath leading to a new ecology and renewable energy interpretation area, allowing the local community to learn first-hand about climate change, renewable energy and the natural environment.
- The proposed Lower Farm Green Corridor will provide an important ecological and landscape feature forming a continuous 1.5km green spine to the proposed Ladden Brook Nature Area, with substantial new planting improving biodiversity, ecological connectivity and also the amenity of the public footpath that runs along it.
- A solar plant allows agricultural land to rest for the period of operation and the land use can easily be reversed to agriculture at the end of the project life.
- No protected landscape, heritage or ecological designations will be affected by the solar farm.
- The proposed development’s panels will utilise bifacial modules which absorb irradiation from the front and rear side, generating c. 4% higher energy yield than mono-facial modules.
- We anticipate that construction will be complete in approximately 7 months. This will typically require up to 8 deliveries each day during peak construction.
- 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 South Gloucestershire 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 and we’re headquartered locally in Dursley. 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 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.
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