Following the consent of planning in June 2022, Enviromena are constructing a 24.2MWp solar farm in Bridgwater, Somerset with energisation planned for early 2024.
Annual Energy Yield (MWh)
Tonnes of CO2 saved every year*
Equivalent number of homes powered**
WHAT WAS INVOLVED
The project, which is situated to directly adjacent to the M5, was identified for solar development by Enviromena’s development team in early-2021 and Enviromena’s expert land acquisition team agreed long-term lease terms with the landowner. An application for grid capacity was submitted to the DNO, National Grid Energy Distribution (formerly WPD).
After securing capacity with the DNO, detailed attention was paid to the planning aspects of the development site where a previous application for planning was turned down by the local authority five years previously. Key focus was placed on mitigating landscape impacts of the site which caused the previous developer to fail in their attempts to secure planning.
Engagement with the local community took place virtually via video conference due to restrictions imposed the COVID pandemic and full support was obtained by the local parish council who outlined their full support for renewable development at the site. In parallel, a full planning application was submitted to Sedgmoor District Council (now Somerset Council) in December 2021.
The scheme obtained full support from all parties consulted on the scheme. Notably, Enviromena’s development team held engagement with National Highways to ensure that suitable screening was provided as part of the scheme to reduce glint and glare effects on users of the M5 motorway. Furthermore, a District Level License was put in place with Natural England due to positive traces of Great Crested Newts discovered within the onsite pond.
With no objections to the project, the planning officer at Sedgmoor District Council granted planning to the scheme in June 2022 by means of delegated power.
PROJECT COMPLETED IN WINTER 2023/24
Construction commenced in late-summer 2023 and the project will be completed in the winter of 2023/24. Land rights to connect the scheme utilising third party land for the cable route to the point of connection are fully secured ready for the scheme to be connected to the grid and begin exporting reliable green energy.
MANAGEMENT OF THE SITE
Once complete, Enviromena will continue to manage the site under a long-term O&M contract including full performance monitoring, security monitoring, preventive / reactive maintenance and landscape management.
Site identified by Enviromena development team and landowner approached. Grid application submitted to DNO.
Virtual consultation with parish council (undertaken virtually due to COVID pandemic) and wider public consultation undertaken. Planning application submitted to Sedgmoor District Council.
Project granted planning approval by Sedgmoor District Council.
Planned project completion and energisation.
*0.19338 kg per kWh (GOV.UK – 2022)
**2,700kWh per annum – average sized UK home (Ofgem)