Developer Elements Green has unveiled plans for the UK’s first 1GW solar and energy storage park which would be located to the north-west of Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England. The project, known as Great North Road Solar Park, is categorised as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), and has the potential to meet the power needs of circa 400,000 homes (equivalent to 100% of homes in Nottinghamshire) while avoiding more than 250,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. “Our proposals for Great North Road Solar Park build on the Trent Valley’s long history of powering the UK”, said Great North Road Solar Park project director Mark Noone. “With an installed capacity of over 1GW DC the scheme would help secure the UK’s future energy needs, while making a 1.5% contribution towards the government target to increase the UK’s solar capacity to 70GW by 2035.
“Stepping up the production of sustainable, home-grown electricity it would also contribute to tackling the cost-of-living crisis head-on through the reduction of household energy bills.” Work is under way to determine suitable areas for accommodating the principal components of the project which include PV panels, an on-site energy storage facility and associated infrastructure to connect the scheme to the grid at Staythorpe substation. The final scheme would include significant biodiversity enhancements including tree planting, wildflower meadows, and wetland areas. The findings from this initial work will be shared through a first stage of community consultation anticipated in early 2024. Feedback to this consultation will be used to inform and refine more detailed proposals on which a further stage of consultation will be carried out. “We believe that local communities have an important role to play in helping to inform and influence how our proposals for Great North Road Solar Park evolve,” said Noone. “We want to deliver this project responsibly and are committed to consulting as widely and effectively as possible, working together with residents, businesses and community organisations to improve and enhance our proposals as our plans for the project progress.
“We’re extremely keen to hear about any initiatives we could support or deliver to benefit those communities closest to the development through our community benefit scheme, known as NG+, which will be directly linked to this project,” he continues. “NG+ would make available in the region of £1m per annum to provide grants for residential and commercial energy efficiency measures and small-scale renewable energy schemes, through to supporting community projects, apprenticeships, school and college programs, to woodland, biodiversity, and archaeology projects. This is in addition to the making an estimated contribution of circa £1.5m-£3m in business rates to the Newark and Sherwood district. The project would not rely on any form of government subsidy.” It is anticipated that the development process for Great North Road Solar Park through DCO submission and examination will take between two and three years. Subject to achieving consent, construction would begin around 2027. Information about the proposed development is available on the project website www.gnrsolarpark.co.uk. Interested parties are invited to register their details on the website so they can be notified directly as soon as new information becomes available.
Credits: renews.biz [Image: Great Road Solar Park]