Boom Power is proposing to develop a solar farm on approximately 96 hectares of land forming part of Euston Estate, located to the East of Firsfield, Bardwell, Suffolk, at the postcode IP31 1BB.
The project could have up to a generating capacity of 46.99 megawatts (MWp) for distribution to the national grid. It is important to note that this project is non subsidised, therefore requires no government funding.
The 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*
Car reduction per year*
* Statistics shown are equivalent values based on the potential energy produced from the PV solar at the proposed Firsfield Solar Farm development.
It will assist West Suffolk Council’s climate emergency declaration made in 2019 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to align with local, national and international targets.
The Council’s vision is to make West Suffolk completely carbon neutral by 2030.
The project will contribute to the UK’s urgent need to transition to a low carbon future by producing renewable energy to enable energy security and self-sufficiency in the local area.
A solar farm is minimally invasive and allows land to lie fallow which delivers wildlife, soil quality and ecological benefits.
This is a temporary development and a successful planning consent would require the land to be returned to its current condition.
A solar farm has an average life span of 35-40 years.
The anticipated construction period will be approximately 9 months.
The proposed development will use bi-facial solar modules. Bi-facial modules absorb the sunlight from both sides as opposed to just one. Therefore, they can convert the light that is reflected behind the panel to increase the total energy production.
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.
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.
Firsfield Solar Farm has been assessed using an industry standard methodology and concludes that the development will result in an onsite net increase of 71.1% in habitat units and 18.6% increase in hedgerow units. This is well above the generally accepted minimum of 10% (which is expected to become a national policy requirement in the near future).
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 Tuesday 19th October 2021 from 2pm – 7pm at The Elizabethan Tithe Barn, Up Street, Bardwell, Suffolk, IP31 1AA. This gave the opportunity to meet with our project team, learn more about our proposal and see our plans. Thank you to all that attended!