Planning permission has been granted for the largest solar plus storage project to be built in Wales. The 49.9MW scheme on Anglesey will be developed by Countryside Renewables (North Anglesey) Ltd following the decision by the Isle of Anglesey County Council to approve the proposal.
Our specialist Infrastructure & Energy team acted as planning advisors to the project.
The location of the site was carefully selected by Countryside Renewables using a top-down approach of Wales and extensive assessment of all of Anglesey. The site benefits from irradiation in the top 5% of Wales, is located in an inconspicuous location with limited visual impact and is close to a grid connection.
The 190 acres on which the project sits will continue to be used for sheep grazing. The scheme includes landscape and biodiversity enhancements, including a one-mile long wildlife corridor and wildflower planting.
The scheme will generate sufficient renewable energy to power more than 14,000 pure electric cars annually or 15,500 average UK homes annually.
This project aligns with the Paris Agreement, which has as its primary objective capping global temperature increases to 2° C over pre-industrial levels to mitigate against sea-level rises, crop failures, ocean acidification and other catastrophic consequences of global warming. The CO2 savings over the 30-year lifetime of the project will be 612,000 tonnes, the equivalent of taking nearly 14,000 cars off the road.
John Dunlop, Managing Partner at Countryside Renewables, says “The installation will be the first in Wales of a new generation of cutting-edge solar photovoltaic projects that includes an option for energy storage. This capability enables the project to be a “Peaker Plant,” storing electricity generated during the day and releasing it at times of peak demand. It can also provide frequency response services to the grid. This storage option combined with the economies of scale from the size of the project allow it to deliver the Government’s three objectives of secure, clean and affordable energy supplies.”
The project will fulfil Anglesey’s extraordinary potential for generating power from a diverse range of clean energy technologies. Anglesey is billed as the “Energy Island” and Anglesey residents should be congratulated for helping make it happen.
Mark Connolly, Director at Countryside Renewables, points out that “Anglesey is truly a unique place in terms of renewable resources. Once constructed, from the top of Copper Mountain, on a clear day a trained eye will be able to see in the distance wind farms, a nuclear power station, a tidal array and the North Anglesey Solar plus Storage Project. It will be possibly the only viewpoint in the world where one may see five different utility-scale clean energy technologies on display producing cost-effective power from nuclear fission, the tide, the wind and the sun.”
Ben Lewis, Infrastructure & Energy Director says, “The size of the project allows it to make a meaningful contribution to the Welsh Government’s target for Wales to generate 70% of its electricity consumption from renewable energy by 2030. It has been carefully designed to have minimal environmental and visual impacts on the surrounding landscape and meets the goals of the Welsh Government’s Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.”
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