An extension of the existing solar park (i.e. more photovoltaic ground mounted solar panels). The extension will generate an additional 49MW of renewable energy.
Who are Branston Solar Extension Limited?
Branston Solar Park extension is being promoted by a consortium of local farmers some of whom hosted the original scheme.
They are excited by the potential to help contribute to the UK’s renewable energy and climate change targets.
They have seen a significant increase in the biodiversity, particularly birdlife around the first scheme, and are keen to expand this.
This provides an opportunity for them to diversify their income in uncertain times for agriculture allowing them to protect their businesses and employees.
They will ensure that at the end of the life of the scheme the land can revert back to agriculture.
The photovoltaic panels will be mounted on a supporting metal framework laid out in parallel arrays (rows) running east to west across the various field enclosures. The front edge of the panels will be approximately 0.7m above ground, with the top edge set at approximately 2.2m above the ground. This will be very similar to the existing scheme.
The metal framework that houses the modules will be supported at intervals by single mounted posts. The posts will be driven into the ground at a depth of between 1m to 1.6m. Transformers and associated switch gear are required to ensure that the DC energy produced by the solar panels is converted into AC energy. Again, similar in design to the existing scheme.
A substation is also necessary to house the equipment that connects the solar park to the local energy distribution network. This will be located on the site and connect into the existing pylon line.
The site is all within Flood Zone 1, at low risk of flooding. It is not anticipated that this development will have a negative implication on fluvial or surface water flood risk.
Traffic and Transport
Access to the site is proposed from an existing access on Mere Road and the B1178 to the south.
All trees and hedgerows surrounding the field enclosures will be retained as part of the development proposal. If required, new hedgerow boundaries will be introduced replacing traditional field enclosures.
The arable fields hold some ecological interest, particularly for ground nesting birds. Survey work is ongoing. Ecological enhancements and mitigation are proposed.