Plans lodged for what could be largest council-owned solar farm in Wales
Rhiannon James, Local Democracy Reporter
Plans to build an “ambitious” solar farm are to be lodged by Caerphilly County Borough Council.
According to the council, it could be the biggest local authority-owned farm in Wales, and would generate enough energy to power 6,000 homes across its 35-year lifespan.
The council hopes Cwm Ifor solar farm would support decarbonisation of the local electricity system.
On Wednesday, October 5, the council’s cabinet approved a proposal to build a 20 megawatt solar farm in Penyrheol. The proposals will now go through the planning process.
Should the planning application be successful, the council can either construct the farm itself or sell the project on. The land is privately-owned – a lease agreement is to be made between the owner and the council.
Construction is expected to begin in April 2024, if plans are approved. The project has been classified as a “development of national significance”- therefore the Welsh Government will determine the application.
A report presented to the cabinet revealed the development of the solar farm could cost between £12 million and £16 million.
Following the approval of the proposal, deputy leader of the council, Cllr Jamie Pritchard said: “I’m happy that cabinet has agreed to proceed with a key investment in renewable energy.
“The project is ambitious, and has the potential to be the largest public authority owned solar farm in Wales.
“We have a commitment to reduce carbon emissions, so we must act.”
In June 2019, the council declared a climate emergency and has also committed itself to achieving net-zero by 2030.
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