PENDERI SOLAR FARM,
BLAENHIRAETH FARM, LLANELLI
Voltalia UK Ltd is proposing a renewable energy scheme on land at Blaenhiraeth Farm, approximately 4 miles north of Llanelli. Penderi Solar Farm would generate renewable power through ground mounted photovoltaic panels, providing clean and low carbon power channelled directly into the local electricity grid network.
Founded in 2005, Voltalia Ltd is a power producer and service provider in renewable electricity production from solar, wind, hydro and biomass energies. As an integrated company, Voltalia has developed a strong expertise throughout the value chain of a renewable project: project development, project financing, EPC and operation & maintenance. Voltalia is responsible for the installation of over 22 solar farms in the UK with a total capacity of over 196 MW.
INTRODUCING THE PROPOSAL
The main elements of the proposal are the construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of a ground mounted solar farm with a maximum design capacity of 38MWp (megawatts peak). The photovoltaic panels would be laid out in arrays set at an angle of circa. 20 degrees from east to west across various fields’ enclosures. The top edges of the panels would be up to 3 metres above ground. There will also be electrical connection infrastructure and a substation compound would be centrally located within the site and positioned adjacent to the overhead pylon to the north west of the Blaenhiraeth Farm.
The application proposal would also include a package of landscape, ecological and biodiversity benefits. Land between and beneath the panels would be used for seasonal grazing.
An operational lifespan of 35 years is being sought. During the operational phase, the activities on site would amount to servicing of plant and equipment and biodiversity management. An element of the development proposal is subject to a Listed Building Consent and this specifically relates to the laying of cables through the modern concrete overlay on the Cilddewi bridge.
By virtue of its potential renewable energy generating capacity, this project constitutes a Development of National Significance [DNS] for Wales. The consenting regime for DNS was introduced by The Planning (Wales) Act 2015. The Act requires the Welsh Minister to determine DNS projects, with applications being made directly to them.
WHAT IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF
NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE "DNS"
The Planning (Wales) Act 2015 established a new category of development named DNS. Provision in the Act came into force in March 2016 which requires the Welsh Minister to determine DNS projects, with applications being made directly to them. The process for applying for a Development of National Significance is set out by the Development of National Significance (Procedure) (Wales) Order 2016 and subsequent Regulations. The DNS application process is managed by Planning Inspectorate Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government.
Decisions are made in the context of the Welsh Government’s national planning policy and the local planning authority’s Local Development Plan. A flowchart of the DNS process.
Following extensive early engagement with the Carmarthenshire County Council and other groups, on 14 June 2019 Voltalia UK Ltd gave formal notification to the Welsh Ministers of its intention to make an application for DNS under section 62D of the Town and Country Planning Act.
On 21 June 2019, the Planning Inspectorate published their Notice of Acceptance which sets out a 12 month deadline for Voltalia UK Ltd to carry out further statutory consultation and formally submit the application to the Planning Inspectorate.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE SOLAR FARM?
The main benefits of the development proposed are summarised below:
Subsidy free. Penderi Solar Farm will not require government subsidy. Solar is now one of the most cost effective sources of clean renewable electricity generation in the UK;
Local suppliers. Voltalia are committed to using local suppliers during construction and operation. If you are a local supplier, please contact us for further information relating to the construction phase of the project;
Assist with enabling Wales to play its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with local, national and international targets;
Contribute towards the security of energy supply in Wales through the provision of local, affordable renewable energy supply;
Biodiversity enhancement and landscaping proposed across the site;
The solar farm is sited on lower grade agricultural land which represents some of the poorest agricultural land in Carmarthenshire; and
The continued agricultural use of the site can be achieved by allowing sheep to manage the grassland within the solar farm.
In advance of an application for a DNS being submitted, the Development of National Significance (Procedure) Order 2016 requires the applicant to consult widely. Our formal consultation is now being undertaken and runs from Wednesday 7 August 2019 to Friday 27 September 2019.
We held our main community exhibition event on Tuesday 13 August at the Best Western Hotel. At the request of Llangennech Community Council we will be holding another exhibition on Thursday 19 September from 4pm to 8pm at the Llangennech Community Centre, SA14 8TH.
Our consultation event will give you the opportunity to view our full consultation material on the development proposal and this includes all the draft planning application documents.
The consultation materials will include: -
Penderi Solar Farm Environmental Statement
Penderi Solar Farm Environmental Statement Non-technical Summary
Penderi Solar Farm Planning Statement
Penderi Solar Farm Design and Access Statement
Penderi Solar Farm Planning Application Drawings
Planning Inspectorate’s Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Direction
All these documents are available to view and download from this website (see links below).
Comments provided by the local community will be taken into account in shaping the final planning application submission. All comments must be provided by 5pm on Friday 27 September 2019.
We welcome all feedback from members of the community on our draft proposals which can be submitted via the details provided below.
REGISTER FOR UPDATES
If you would like to be kept up to date with Voltalia plans for the Penderi Solar Farm proposals then please contact us using the details provided below.
Please provide your contact details if you wish to get a response. Any information provided will only be used for the purpose of the planning application to the Local Planning Authority and will not be disclosed with any third parties. Your contact details will not be listed on the planning application documentation