Boom Power is proposing to develop a solar farm on approximately 37.5 hectares of land, located to the East of Billericay, Essex, at the postcode CM11 2UN.
The project could have a generating capacity of up to 25.6 megawatts (MW) for distribution to the national grid. It is important to note that this project is non-subsidised, therefore, requires no government or public funding.
We understand why so many people would prefer for solar farms to be developed on brownfield sites, however, brownfield is extremely expensive and solar farms simply cannot financially compete with land suitable for residential or commercial development. There are very limited opportunities for large-scale solar on brownfield.
Thus, this site has been carefully selected as part of a detailed feasibility process. Consideration has been given to a number of things including: Residential amenity, grid capacity, solar irradiation, environmental designations, cultural heritage, ecology, biodiversity, flood risk and agricultural quality. Detailed studies are being carried out by technical specialists to inform the final scheme design and respond to each of these points.
Detailed Feasibility Process
Planning Application Submission
Planning Application Decision
DETAILED FEASIBILITY PROCESS
PLANNING APPLICATION SUBMISSION
PLANNING APPLICATION DECISION
Features & Benefits.
Tonnes of CO2 prevented per year*
Family homes powered per year*
Trees offset per year*
Cars offset from the road per year*
* Statistics shown are equivalent values based on the potential energy produced from the PV solar at the proposed solar farm development.
It will assist Basildon Council’s ambition to deliver zero carbon emissions across the borough by 2030 and to deliver a completely carbon neutral borough by 2050 to align with local, national and international targets.
The project will contribute to the UK’s urgent need to transition to a sustainable, clean future by enabling energy security and self-sufficiency in the local area.
Solar farms have an average life span of 35-40 years.
This is a temporary development and a successful planning consent would require the land to be returned to its current condition. This explicitly means the status of the land once decommissioned will not be classified as a brownfield site.
Solar farms are minimally invasive and allow land to lie fallow upon operation. A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) is undertaken by a qualified, independent surveyor to mitigate any affect on the landscape.
The anticipated construction period will be approximately 6 months.
Local highway restrictions will be followed and HGV routing will be agreed with the Highway Authority, avoiding minor roads and villages where possible.
Evolving concept design.
The proposed development will use bi-facial solar modules, which absorb sunlight from both sides as opposed to just one. They can therefore convert the light that is reflected behind the module to increase the total energy production. The assumption is that full sunshine is necessary, yet these efficient modules have excellent weak light performance meaning more power output is seen in weak light conditions such as cloud, dawn and sunset.
It is paramount our proposal supports the natural existing landscape, we design around existing trees and wherever possible use existing access tracks, thus, no trees or hedgerows will be removed to accommodate this scheme.
CLIMATE CHANGE & ECOLOGY.
According to the UN, climate change is the ‘defining crisis of our time and it is happening even more quickly than we feared’. We have to create more renewable energy.
The UK Government has committed to reducing economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
In addition to this, the Government had made a legal commitment to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. This will require a rapid and expanded deployment of low carbon power, including solar.
We recognise the importance of environmental protection and betterment as part of our commitment to operating sustainably and responsibly. We procure independent qualified ecologist advice to measure the biodiversity value of each project and to design enhancements to deliver a net biodiversity gain. At our solar farms, this generally results in improvements to natural habitats for a range of invertebrates, small mammals, reptiles and birds.
Arable land is generally intensively farmed which can have an adverse impact on soil quality over time. The transition to grassland, introduction of areas of meadow around the external fencing and sheep grazing allows the soil quality to improve. This also provides suitable habitat and food sources for wildlife throughout the food chain. Significant benefits are also gained through the eradication of fertilizer and pesticide use, advancing the quality of both land and waterways.
Public Consultation EVENT.
Boom Power agree with the guidance issued by the UK Government’s Chief Planner, which emphasised that planning applications that positively impact the country and local communities must continue to come forward.
In addition, Boom Power believes that it is vital that local communities are able to see and shape planning applications that may have an impact.
Our public consultation event was held on Wednesday 8th December 2021 from 2pm – 7pm at Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall, Ramsden Bellhouse, Billericay, CM11 1RN. This gave the opportunity to meet with our project team, learn more about our proposal and see our plans. Thank you to all for attending!