International solar developer BayWa r.e. plans to light up south Derbyshire with one of Britain’s biggest solar PV farms yet built.
Rated at 163MW peak capacity, the intended park divided between two plots near south Derbyshire’s villages of Rosliston and Walton on Trent will be within an order of magnitude of the 350MW, £450 million Cleve Hill project, Britain’s biggest solar installation yet approved.
As an energy venture over 100MW, – thus classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, – that Anglo-German design near Faversham, Kent required sign-off in May 2020 direct from the secretary of state’s office within Beis.
So will Oaklands Solar Farm, the name BayWa r.e. are giving their Derbyshire blueprint.
Grid connection will come via an overhead cable above fields on the site’s northern edge to the Drakelow substation. The two plots will be linked by the same means.
A full planning application will be submitted late in 2022 to the Planning Inspectorate. Until then BayWa r.e. will run both informal and formal consultations, with neighbours and other affected parties.
Oaklands Solar Farm project manager Ashley McInnes explained, “Wherever possible, we’re looking at how we can best align this project with existing and emerging carbon reduction targets at a national level, as well as seeking opportunities to contribute to the climate agenda, community benefit and supply chain at a local level.”
Hedging and landscaping will mask much of the site’s ground arrays from local residents, BayWa r.e. will assure planners. Footpaths will be respected, and local wildlife protected.
To date BayWa r.e. completed 31 solar farms in the UK, amounting together to approximately 536MW. In July it bought nearly 100MWp of subsidy exempt, storage co-located PV sites from UK developer JBM Solar.
Also registered with the Planning Inspectorate are three other mega solar projects. Hampshire-based INRG Solar applied in 2018 for its 120MW Little Crow Solar Farm. Longfield Solar Energy Farm north of Chelmsford was registered last year.