INTRODUCING
MINETY SOLAR FARM

 

JBM Solar is proposing a renewable energy scheme on land surrounding the Minety Substation. It is envisaged that Minety Solar farm will have a generating capacity of up to 50 megawatts. In order to fully utilise the network connection capacity, the proposal will include battery storage which could store the renewable energy for times of peak demand from consumers. The scheme will support Government legislation to decarbonise our energy system and make the UK carbon neutral by 2050.

Thank you to everyone who contributed towards the public consultation. We very much appreciate your feedback via the website given the present challenges due to the Covid-19 lockdown. We received a number of useful responses that will allow us to tailor the design and further minimise any potential impact to the local environment. Below you can see our latest design which we have submitted to the Council for consideration. To summarise, the following changes have been made..

 

  • Following feedback from the community and consultants we have been able to relocate a number of panels to an area north of the National Grid Substation which will be better screened from public viewpoints. This has enabled us to remove panels from a  more visible area near to the north of the site visible to residents in Upper Minety.

  • We will be reinforcing a number of hedgerows to better screen views from public viewpoints. We will use native species within the field boundaries and encourage growth during the lifetime of the project.

  • We have designated a 5 acre field previously planned for solar panels, in the northern section of the site, towards a butterfly wildflower meadow, in a bid to further enhance the efforts made by local SSSI designations to plant butterfly habitat. 

  • Field margins close to the Cloatley SSSI will be planted with wildflower seed to encourage butterfly species.

  • Further buffers have been given to watercourses running through the site to ensure no equipment is sited within a medium risk Flood Risk Zone. We have also included SUDS mitigation around the main compound area to improve water attenuation. 

  • Transformer buildings have been moved further away from local residents to improve aesthetics.

About JBM Solar

JBM Solar has a proven track record of developing solar projects in the UK and Ireland since 2012. Our development team has now secured planning permissions for more than 350MW of solar projects. JBM Solar is focused on the provision of clean solar electricity, helping to make a more sustainable, low-carbon future.

 

Why are Solar Farms Important?

The National Infrastructure Committee have advised the Government that by 2030 a minimum of 50% of power should come from renewables.

A climate change emergency was declared by Wiltshire Council in February 2019. In July 2019, the Council pledged to make the county of Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030.

Latest Government energy statistics reveals that in 2019 fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy supply and account for 79.4% of energy supply.

Only 11 per cent of total energy consumption came from renewables.

This represents a significant challenge for the UK to increase its share of renewable energy.

Why Here?

This site has been carefully selected as part of a detailed feasibility process which includes the consideration of grid capacity, sunlight irradiation, environmental designations, cultural heritage, ecology and biodiversity, flood risk and land grading. A variety of technical surveys have or are being

carried out to confirm that the land would be suitable for solar energy farm use.

 

Site Assessment

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CONSTRAINTS PLAN

Agricultural Land Classification

The entire site has been assessed as Sub-Grade 3b agricultural land.

Ecology and Biodiversity

The site is not located within any statutory designations.

Emmett Hill Meadows SSSI is located to the east of the site and designated for species rich grassland and invertebrate species

Cloatley Farm SSSI is situated north of the site and designated for its species rich grassland / hay meadows and populations of Marsh Fritillary and Brown Hairstreak butterflies.

There are two ponds within the site that are suitable habitat for Great Crested Newts. GCN surveys will be undertaken in April/June.

Ancient Woodland / replanted woodlands are located along the southern boundaries of the site.

Cultural Heritage

There are no listed building or scheduled ancient monuments located within the site.

There are no Registered Parks and Garden’s, Registered Historic Landscapes, or Conservation Areas located within or immediately surrounding the site.

There are several listed buildings in the wider locality.

Highways and Access

Access to the site is provided by the existing private road that serves the existing Minety substation accessed from the B4040.

Flood Risk

The entire site is situated with Flood Zone 1, the area at least risk of flooding.

Planning Application Submission

 

21st June 2021 Update

Following further consultation with Wiltshire Council, we are pleased to submit a revised design which incorporates a number of recommendations from Council consultees and the local community. You can review the latest landscape plan using the link below. The Council are inviting comments on this revision until the 19th July 2021.

 

The key application documents are available to view below. Wiltshire Council registered the planning application (LPA Ref  20/03528/FUL) on 27 April 2020. The application submission may be viewed on the council’s website using the link: Wiltshire Online Planning Register

 

The main elements of the proposal are the construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of a ground mounted solar farm with an export capacity of 50MW.

 

There will be electrical connection infrastructure and the point of connection to the grid is at the Minety Substation.

 

In order to fully utilise the network connection capacity, the proposal will include battery storage providing a frequency response to the grid at times when the solar is not exporting at peak capacity.

 

Construction material deliveries will mainly arrive by HGVs while staff trips will mainly consist of vans.

 

Construction period will last up to six months.

The main benefits of the development proposed are summarised below:

 

The site would generate enough renewable power to generate the equivalent annual energy needs of around 15,000 homes, thus contributing towards the security of energy supply for Wiltshire.

 

Displacing the equivalent of 858,280 tonnes of CO2 from equivalent traditional fossil fuel energy production over the operational lifespan of 40 years.

 

Allow Wiltshire to play its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with local, national and international targets.

 

Subsidy free. The Minety Solar Farm has been designed to be constructed and operated without any Government subsidy.  Solar is now one of the most cost-effective sources of clean renewable electricity generation in the UK.

 

Biodiversity enhancement and landscaping will be introduced across the site. This will be carefully managed in accordance with a Landscape and Ecological Management Plan that will accompany any future application.

The continued agricultural use of the site can be achieved by allowing sheep to manage the grassland within the solar farm. The land will be returned to full agricultural use following decommissioning.

The Benefits of Minety Solar Farm

 

Contact & Feedback

 

Please provide any comments you have on the proposal in the text box below. 

You can also submit comments by email or post using the details provided.

Comments provided by the local community will be taken into account in shaping the final planning application submission. All comments must be provided by 5pm on Friday 3 April 2020.

minetysolarfarm@pegasusgroup.co.uk

Minety Solar Farm,

C/O Pegasus Group,

First Floor, South Wing, Equinox North,

Great Park Road, Almondsbury,

Bristol, BS32 4QL

01454 625 945

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