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Plans announced for 750MW solar farm and storage facility near Spalding





Plans have been announced for a new 750MW solar farm and storage facility.

Downing Renewable Developments wants to build the Meridian Solar Farm with battery storage facility on several parcels of land around Cowbit, Whaplode Drove and Holbeach Drove areas – if it is approved. The firm says that this facility could power around 215,000 homes

But as the generating capacity is higher than 50MW, the firm is submitting a Development Consent Order (DCO) to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) – and the decision will be made by the State for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Plans have been announced for a new solar farm
Plans have been announced for a new solar farm

A public consultation is due to be held in the spring.

This announcement comes a week after South Holland District Council refused planning permission for another solar farm in the Holbeach Bank area while concerns have been raised about plans in the Stamford, Grantham and Rutland areas.

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Tony Gannon, head of DRD, said: “As one of the cheapest forms of renewable energy, a fivefold increase in solar capacity is anticipated by 2035 in the Government’s Energy Security Strategy (2022). This cannot be achieved through rooftop and brownfield solar installations alone and, as such, projects such as Meridian Solar Farm will become essential to the UK’s energy mix.”

A solar farm and batter facility could be built on parcels of land around Peak Hill, Whaplode Drove and Holbeach Drove PHOTO: Downing Renewable Developments
A solar farm and batter facility could be built on parcels of land around Peak Hill, Whaplode Drove and Holbeach Drove PHOTO: Downing Renewable Developments

The locations for this facility could be spread over land south of Peak Hill, Cowbit; another on Aswick Grange, which runs from the A16 to Whaplode Drove; and five other parcels of land around Holbeach Drove.

The firm says the land will be carefully evaluated to identify opportunities to provide a Biodiversity Net Gain – but this development has a long-term plan to deliver a Biodiversity Net Gain of at least 10%.

Chris Coates, Senior Project Engineer at DRD, said on the plans: “We have a long-term vision for Meridian Solar Farm which will significantly enhance local wildlife and provide real benefits to the local communities. As part of the initial project development process, we are beginning our stakeholder engagement campaign and aim to commence informal consultation in Spring 2024 to receive feedback on our early-stage proposals.”

DRD will undertake an environmental impact assessment which will be informed by a scoping opinion it will seek from the Secretary of State.

Before the DCO application is submitted, DRD will be consulting with local communities and other stakeholders; the feedback received as part of the consultation process will be used alongside survey outcomes to inform decisions about the design and evolution of the final proposals.

Once the proposals are finalised, a DCO application will be submitted to the Secretary of State for determination. This will be subject to an examination in which the local community and stakeholders will be invited to engage.

What do you think? Would you like to see a solar farm near Spalding?



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