Plans lodged for £12m Cheshire solar farm
Renewable Connections Development is hoping to generate enough energy to power 5,200 homes a year from its proposed Chads Farm Solar Farm in Tushingham near Whitchurch.
Set on 95 acres of agricultural land off Barhill Drive, the project aims to construct a mounted solar farm with an export capacity of 15MW. While the panels gather energy, the ground beneath them will be used for sheep grazing and biodiversity enhancements.
The plans submitted by Pegasus Group state that the solar farm would have an operational life of 40 years. After that time, the land would be restored to its former state as agricultural greenfield.
The solar panels would be bifacial, meaning they would be capable of capturing light on both their front and rear sides. This would mean that the rear of the panels would collect the light off of the reflections of the grass surface below them. Cables linking the panels to inverters and a substation would be buried underneath the site.
Pegasus estimates that the solar farm could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 8,400 tonnes a year.
The estimated £12m capital cost price tag for the project comes from 2016 data from the Solar Trade Association on the cost of building solar farms in the UK.
In addition to being the planning consultant for the scheme, Pegasus also provided services related to heritage assessment, ecological statements, construction traffic management and flood risk strategy.
Amet Property conducted the agricultural land classification survey for the project. Barton Hyett Associates was the arboriculture consultant. Clarkson and Woods provided the ecological assessment. Ion Acoustics was the noise consultant and Pager Power was the consultant for glint and glare assessment.
Looking to learn more about the project? The application’s reference number with Cheshire West and Chester Council is 22/00224/FUL.