Consultation launched on major solar farm project planned for Swansea
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
A consultation has been launched on plans for a new solar farm on 90 hectares of land in Swansea which would generate the equivalent electricity used by 11,500 households, according to the developer.
Taiyo Power and Storage wants to install thousands of panels between Gorseinon and Fforestfach, although they would cover only 34 hectares of the 90-hectare site.
The project – called Parc Solar Caenewydd – would be created in the Afan Llan valley on land mainly south of Swansea Road and the A484, where Day’s Motorpark is located.
Taiyo Power is holding the consultation on its proposal, which is considered a nationally significant scheme and as such would be determined by the Welsh Government rather than Swansea Council, at the Rechabite Community Hall, Church Street, Gowerton, on September 9 and 10.
Taiyo Power and Storage said the proposed development would include 57 hectares of greenery including grassland and floodplain storage areas. It said a wide habitat corridor would be created along the Afon Llan, and that an area of a designated site of importance for nature conservation would be restored, benefiting birds and reptiles.
Sheep, it added, would graze among the solar arrays, and all woodland and hedges will be retained.
The Welsh Government has a target of generating 70% of Wales’s electricity demand by renewable sources of power, like solar farms, by 2030.
Taiyo Power director Simon Crowe said the Parc Solar Caenewydd proposal was a “nationally significant step” in supporting Welsh and UK Government emission-reduction plans.
“With the current energy crisis affecting millions across the country, the need to transition to UK-generated renewable energy has never been clearer,” said Mr Crowe.
“The opportunity to do this whilst still supporting sheep grazing means that local clean energy needs can be met in tandem with valuable food production.”
According to the company, the Welsh Government has assessed that the solar farm would not cause any significant adverse environmental impacts.
Following a period of public engagement and consultation, an application will be made directly to the planning inspectorate for Wales, alongside consultation with Swansea Council’s planning department.
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From memory much of that land is at best rough grazing but on a well-suited south/south westerly slope. If you were going to put one anywhere in the area it seems a pretty good choice.
Yes, the look of the land in the aerial photo is hardly ‘rich’ so why not use it for this project? One would hope that the project also includes a big chunk of battery strorage so that the power can be rolled forward for early evening use.
Another possibility, if the panels are not mounted low down is to grow stuff underneath that needs a protected environment. Lots of food products and lots of endangered plant species could probably be reared there for sale.