Massive solar farm capable of powering 34,000 homes planned for Frodsham
A joint venture between Peel NRE and Cubico Sustainable Investments has started a consultation on its ambitions for a large-scale renewable energy facility on 780 acres in Cheshire.
Peel Cubico Renewables’ proposed solar farm would have a capacity of around 150 megawatts – enough to power more than 34,000 homes, according to the company.
Most of the energy would be pumped into the Frodsham Substation and then distributed to the wider Merseyside and Cheshire area by operator SP Energy Networks. Peel Cubico Renewables also said it was exploring private and direct connections.
The solar farm itself would take place on 780 acres located between the M56 and the River Weaver, just north of Frodsham. Of the 780 acres, 720 would be used for the solar panels, the remaining saved as green space. No development would take place on land designated as part of the Mersey Estuary wildlife site.
The scheme also includes installing solar farms under and around the turbines of the existing Frodsham Wind Farm on the site.
Current project timetables have the scheme in operation by 2028, contingent on its securing planning permission of course.
Due to its size, Frodsham Solar would be deemed a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. As such it would need to be signed off by the Planning Inspectorate and the secretary of state.
The consultation can be accessed at frodshamsolar.co.uk. It concludes on 13 July.
Peel Cubico Renewables’ plans come in a timely fashion. Global solar power investment is going to overtake spending on oil production for the first time this year, according to the International Energy Agency. Spending on solar power is forecasted to reach $382bn according to the Financial Times. Ten years ago, only $127bn was being spent on it.
“Energy security is one of the biggest issues in the UK right now, with many people understanding that the high cost of energy is linked to our reliance on imported gas,” said Annette Lardeur, development manager for Frodsham Solar.
“This project will support our national ambitions to reduce energy prices, cut emissions, and create homegrown clean energy,” she continued.
“Frodsham Solar will play a key part in this transition while creating a flow of clean electrons to homes and businesses in the region.”
This is the first England scheme for Peel Cubico Renewables. The JV is also developing the £30m Billown Solar Farm on the Isle of Man.