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Plans revealed for solar farm capable of powering 2,500 homes

21 Dec 2023 3 minute read
Image: Zsuzsa

Bruce Sinclair Local Democracy Reporter

An application for a solar farm, which could generate enough power for 2,500 homes, has been submitted to council planners.

The plans for a nine-megawatt solar farm at West Farm, Cosheston, near Pembroke Dock have been made by James Wallwork of One Plant Developments Limited on land adjoining an existing solar farm.

40 years of power

A supporting statement, through agent Mango Planning & Development Ltd, says the works, together with associated infrastructure, will occupy three fields, the site extending to 9.9 hectares, and will operate for a 40-year period if granted.

The arrays will be connected by underground cabling to an inverter which is required to convert the direct current (DC) electricity generated by the panels, into alternating current (AC) as required to feed into the grid.

In July 2022 pre-application advice was secured from the council that confirmed in-principle support for the proposed use, subject to addressing site specific issues, notably landscape and visual impact, the statement says.

It adds: “The 2021 Welsh Government Energy Generation in Wales report highlighted that Welsh solar PV capacity stood at 1,134 MW, with 119 MW of this in Pembrokeshire.

“The deployment of solar PV has however seen very limited growth since the closure of the Feed-in Tariff and the Renewables Obligation.

“Pembrokeshire is the largest user of energy in Wales accounting for 14 per cent of the total energy use in Wales, and indeed is the only area in Wales that has seen an increase in local electricity usage, as industry moves away from petroleum-based fuels.”

Agricultural land’

It continues: “The proposed development is a key technology in the transition of the Welsh energy system to a resilient, low carbon, and independent energy system powered by renewables.

“The proposed development would contribute circa 9,337,000 KWh of renewable electricity to the local area, which will typically produce enough green electricity a year to power about 2,500 homes.

“The proposed development is for a temporary 40-year timescale and will be fully reinstated at the end of it operational life. There will be no loss of agricultural land.”

It concludes: “The proposal will make a positive contribution to the policy objectives of Welsh Government to deliver a resilient, low carbon, and independent energy system and will support Pembrokeshire Council’s objectives to deliver the next generation of clean, green engineering jobs focussed upon the Milford Haven Waterway and to become the green energy capital of the UK.”

The application will be considered by planners at a later date.

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