Fenwick Solar Project Limited is proposing a new solar farm with energy storage facilities at Fenwick. We are now setting out to provide an outline of our scheme.
The proposed solar farm at Fenwick will cover an area of 326 hectares and will generate approximately 237.5 megawatts (MW) of low carbon electricity.
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) modules will generate the electricity and a Battery Energy Storage System(s) will be installed to enable electricity to be stored and released into the National Grid when it is most needed.
Our proposals to generate more renewable power in the UK will make a significant contribution towards the UK meeting its net zero targets and will deliver against Doncaster City Council’s priorities around tackling climate change and generating more electricity from renewable sources.
Net Zero Target
Hectares of Land
Non Statutory Consultation (Closed)
WHY ARE WE CONSULTING?
- The non-statutory consultation period is now closed -
Meaningful engagement with the local community is what we at Boom Power strive to achieve and we want to hear your thoughts and ideas. Consultation is an opportunity for both the developer and the community to share information and feedback on a proposed development.
At this stage of the process, we are commencing our engagement with local authorities and other agencies, as well as presenting our initial proposals and seeking the views of the local community and stakeholders. Communities have a vital role to play in this process, and we want to hear your views. Your feedback will help us to develop our designs ahead of a statutory consultation period planned to take place later this year.
Your input is important to us, and all responses received during the consultation period will be considered.
The consultation period ran from Tuesday 27 June 2023 to 23:59 on Monday 24 July 2023. This is now closed.
Two consultation events were held at venues across the local area between 27th June 2023 and 24th July 2023. These were drop-in sessions where you could meet members of the project team, view information and plans, and ask any questions you had. Thank you to everyone who attended.
Date & Time.
We understand that not everyone was able to come to an event in person. Therefore, we held two webinars. Thank you to everyone who tuned in, if you missed this, please use the below links to watch the live webinar recording.
Date & Time.
Watch recording here.
Update following our non-statutory consultation
November 1, 2023
80 people attended our events in Fenwick, Sykehouse or our two online webinars and these were a great opportunity to meet and answer questions about our proposals. We have also met with local authorities, parish councils, and elected representatives.
The feedback we have received from local people and technical stakeholders will help us to review and refine our proposals. People have highlighted a range of issues that they would like us to look carefully at, as well as opportunities that could be unlocked through the project.
- The location of the Scheme boundary and residential properties
- Concerns over construction traffic in a rural area and how this could be managed
- Information on important local bridleways and footpaths
- Details of local wildlife species and questions about how impacts will be avoided
- Highlighting potential opportunities such as solar panels for local residents or support for EV charging
- Interest in the amount of funds available for the community benefit fund
Since the close of consultation, we have been looking closely at all the feedback we have received and the insights we take from this process will help to shape Fenwick Solar Farm as it is developed further. We also need to carry out more technical and environmental assessment work and this will be taking place over the coming months.
This will lead to further improvements to our plans for Fenwick Solar Farm. You will have another opportunity to comment on the proposals at our statutory consultation, which will take place in 2024. At this stage, we will also publish a Non-statutory Consultation Report, which will summarise the feedback we received at our first consultation and how we’ve considered this.
In the meantime, our Scheme inbox remains open, and our team is on hand to answer any questions or listen to feedback you may have. Please find us at: Fenwick.Enquiries@Boom-Power.co.uk
The proposed development will use traditional solar PV modules or bifacial modules. Bifacial solar modules offer many advantages over traditional modules. Power can be produced from both sides of a bifacial module, increasing total energy generation. The general misconception is that the UK is not sunny enough to optimise solar and full, direct sunshine is necessary. However, these efficient modules have excellent weak light performance meaning more electricity output is seen in weak light conditions such as cloud, dawn and sunset. Therefore, solar can work exceptionally well in the UK, producing power all year round.
Solar PV modules can be arranged, or mounted, in different directions to gain sunlight. We are evaluating three mounting options.
Fixed South Facing: All the PV modules in a south facing orientation. This would require the rows of modules to be oriented East to West.
Fixed East-West: The modules are mounted in back-to-back rows with one side facing to the east and one to the west. These double, ‘hut shaped’ rows would run from North to South.
Tracking: The modules would be mounted to tilt to follow the direction the sun is coming from. This maximises the electricity production possible from the same number of modules.
At this early stage, the layout of the solar modules and the location of the associated technology on the site has not yet been determined.
Recent technology advances have significantly reduced the carbon costs of producing solar modules. As with all manufactured products, some carbon is emitted in the manufacturing process, yet the claim that solar modules produce more carbon than they save is false. The overall greenhouse gas emissions involved in solar power generation is considerably lower than coal or natural gas and research has shown that the carbon payback period for solar modules is only one to four years. This means that over the total lifespan of the project (an average of 40 years) each individual module will generate zero carbon and zero pollution electricity for decades even after the carbon emitted in its production has been paid back.
We will design the solar farm sensitively to minimise visual impacts on local people and buffer zones and screening will be used in areas where the solar farm is close to residential or commercial properties. A landscape and visual impact assessment will be undertaken to assess the impacts of the scheme, however due to the flat nature of the land at Fenwick we are confident at this stage that the solar PV modules can be largely obscured from public view.
CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION .
We will work closely with the local Highways Authority and statutory bodies to mitigate and reduce any adverse effects on the local community through the construction period.
Our Framework Construction Traffic Management Plan will outline in detail the measures that we will take, and a Framework Environmental Management Plan will outline how any effects on the environment will be mitigated against. These plans will be submitted with our DCO application.
Why this location?
SUNLIGHT AND SITE TOPOGRAPHY.
The land at Fenwick is flat, which makes for ideal conditions for the installation of solar PV modules.
PROXIMITY OF THE SITE TO DWELLINGS.
We are committed to designing the scheme sensitively to limit the impact to local residents.
AGRICULTURE LAND CLASSIFICATION AND LAND TYPE.
The site is in sufficient proximity to the existing National Grid Thorpe Marsh Substation, approximately 6 km south, which is where the electricity generated by the Site will feed into the National Electricity Transmission System (NETS).
Project development begins
Project Development & Environmental Impact Assessment
Development Consent Order application preparation
Non-statutory public consultation
Statutory public consultation
Development Consent Order submission
Net Zero by 2050.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS & MITIGATIONS.
There will be an increase in vehicles accessing the site bringing materials to and from the site during construction.
We will consult with the local authorities to ensure the site accesses are appropriately located for the area. Any needs for local upgrades will be determined as the scheme designs develop.
AIR POLLUTION / DUST
Fields will be fenced off during construction work, and existing trees and hedgerows around the fields will not be disturbed so that construction is not readily visible
Implementation of good practice soil management measures via a Soil Management Plan so that land is restored to original condition.
GLINT AND GLARE
Solar power produces less carbon dioxide than producing electricity with fossil fuels. The solar farm supports the UK’s target of cutting emissions towards net zero.
Compared to arable farming, solar farms can support a biodiversity net gain by providing an overall increase in natural habitat and ecological features. Whilst there is an initial change to the countryside, the operational solar farm has the potential to become a haven for wildlife.
In the aftermath of the global pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine, European gas prices soared by more than 200% in 2021-2022. This record rise in global energy prices has led to an unavoidable increase in the cost of living in the UK, as we use gas both to generate electricity, and to heat the majority of our 28 million homes.
Accelerating the transition away from oil and gas depends critically on how quickly we can roll out new renewables, creating around 480,000 clean jobs by the end of the decade and building a British power system that is much more self-sufficient.
LOW CARBON, ENERGY ELECTRICITY.
Power generation in the UK is undergoing a major change. The Government has committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and to decarbonising the electricity system by 2035. This will require large amounts of home-grown, renewable electricity generation infrastructure to be delivered, including 70 GW solar generation capacity by 2035 – the equivalent to a five-fold increase on existing solar generation.
Boom Power has secured a connection agreement to export 237.5 MW of electricity into the National Grid at the Thorpe Marsh substation. The project will therefore make a significant contribution to providing the renewable electricity generation capacity that the country urgently needs to develop.
There will be local employment opportunities through the construction phase of the solar farm, and we are committed to using local businesses where practicable.
The land will become eligible for business rates thus providing a greater income to the council to spend in the area.
COMMUNITY BENEFIT FUND.
We are open to the idea of funding community projects which will add value to the local community in Fenwick. Please could you give us your ideas via our online feedback form or through completing a hard copy form found on the back page of our consultation brochure.
This is a temporary development, and the Development Consent Order (DCO) would require the Scheme to be decommissioned at the end of its operational life. After this, the land will be returned to the landowner in a condition that will enable its existing uses to be resumed.
Arable farming will no longer be possible once the solar farm is in operation, however, sheep farming will be encouraged. We will seek opportunities with local farmers to deliver sheep grazing on the Solar PV Site.
WHAT COMPONENTS ARE USED IN A SOLAR FARM?
SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) PANELS
Inverters are used to convert the DC electricity generated from the solar PV panels into Alternating Current (AC) – the type of electricity we use in our homes. AC is used for the transmission and distribution networks across the UK.
Transformers change the voltage of the electricity generated which makes it more efficient to move over longer distances. The transformers ensure that the voltage of the energy generated is matched to the voltage of the national grid for transmission and distribution around the UK.
The switchgear allows the site to connect to or be isolated from the grid during routine maintenance.
Substations are used to safely collect and manage the energy exported from the site to the national grid. On-site substations will be used to manage the energy leaving the site via the grid connection cable route to the National Grid Thorpe Marsh Substation.
Security fencing will enclose all the site equipment. This will be unobtrusive mesh fencing, and, where necessary and feasible, screened from view by planting. The site will also have security cameras to monitor the equipment.
Cameras would have inward-facing viewsheds and will be aligned to capture only the fence and the area inside the fence.
Energy storage is essential as it allows electricity generated during times of low demand to be stored and then released to the National Electricity Transmission System when required such as peak electricity usage periods.
An on-site battery system is proposed to be used for energy storage.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND ECOLOGY.
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 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. Currently the majority of the land at Fenwick is used for arable and pasture purposes which gives opportunities to boost biodiversity through the function of the solar farm.
WHAT IS A DEVELOPMENT CONSENT ORDER? (DCO)
As the Fenwick Solar Farm will have the ability to generate more than 50 MW of renewable electricity, it is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). Under the Planning Act 2008, NSIPs are developments which require Development Consent to be granted by the Secretary of State for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero. We are working closely with the Local Authority, Doncaster City Council, as a key consultee.
Unlike applications for planning permission, which are submitted to and determined by local planning authorities, DCO applications are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). The inspectors administer the application process on behalf of the Secretary of State for Department of Energy Security and Net Zero.
The process of preparing an application for a DCO requires a rigorous set of conditions to be met, including consulting with the public. As the project is in its early stages, this consultation is a non-statutory consultation. This means that some of the information we are presenting is still in development and details may change as the project progresses.
We will use the feedback shared by local communities during this consultation to refine and develop our design. An updated proposal will be presented during our statutory consultation as required by the Planning Act 2008, where you will be able to share your views and feedback on our revised proposals. Our statutory consultation dates will be advertised nearer the time.
We will be carrying out environmental impact assessments and preparing our environmental statement in preparation for submitting it to the Planning Inspectorate.
HAVE YOUR SAY: NON STATUTORY CONSULTATION (CLOSED).
This non-statutory consultation is the first round of public consultation on our proposals. We will compile and consider all of the feedback we receive and use this information, along with environmental assessments that we are undertaking, to refine and improve our plans for the project.
In due course, we will launch a statutory consultation, as required by the Planning Act 2008, and present more detailed plans of how Fenwick Solar Farm will be constructed and operated.
Once again, we will want to hear from the local community, groups, businesses and other stakeholders. Further information on the statutory consultation will be made available in due course.
CONTACT the Fenwick solar farm team.
* Field required.
Please only use this form for general enquiries only. For your feedback to form part of the statutory public consultation please use the dedicated feedback form.
If you would prefer to speak to one of our team, please call 01964 782219 between the hours of 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.