The planning application for Deepmore Solar Farm has now been submitted to South Staffordshire Council with the reference 23/00931/FULM
Renewable Connections has submitted an application for a ground mount utility scale solar farm with capacity up to 22.5MW in Four Ashes, South Staffordshire (known as the ‘Deepmore Solar Farm’). Once operational, the project would supply enough power for up to 7,854 homes in the first year of generation and make a valuable contribution towards tackling the climate emergency in Staffordshire and the wider UK.
Renewable Connections has undertaken consultation to inform local communities of our proposed plans and invite any feedback to shape the submission details.
of CO2 saved annually
Up to 22,976 megawatt hours supplied each year
Equivalent annual energy needs of up to 7,854 homes
These figures are calculated using the following references. Last updated 22/06/23
Please note that these figures are representative of the first year of generation only. As new renewable energy projects are built, the electricity grid will de-carbonise and the relative carbon dioxide emissions avoided per year will reduce. This and all of Renewable Connections projects make a positive impact towards the UK’s net-zero targets
The proposed Deepmore Solar Farm comprises a number of agricultural fields located immediately south of Four Ashes, Wolverhampton. The site covers an area of approximately 31.2 Hectares (‘ha’) and falls entirely within the administrative boundaries of Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire District Council.
The Site is bound by Saredon Brook to the north, with the Four Ashes industrial estate and an Energy from Waste facility located approximately 100m beyond this. Standeford is located approximately 450m to the west of the Site. Calf Heath is located approximately 850m to the east, beyond which lies the M6 motorway.
Our plans are still in the development stages, so our design proposals will evolve as we gather local input and the results of our environmental assessments.
If consented and installed, the solar farm will have a capacity of up to 22.5 MWp and will be operational for up to 40 years. After that time, all of the installation will be removed and the land restored to how it was before, but with improved soil health and biodiversity due to being left fallow. The power generated will be exported to the grid via a substation connecting to existing powerlines which run through the site boundary.
The solar panels will be installed in rows which run east to west through the site. These rows will be tilted towards the south to capture the maximum amount of solar irradiation possible. The total height of the panels will be no more than 3m above the ground with a gap of more than 0.8m above the ground at its minimum.
Small electric cabins will be located amongst the panels and these will be accessed by a network of crushed stone track which will run through the site. All of the panels will be surrounded by a security fence to protect the equipment from large animals and unauthorised users entering the site. CCTV cameras will be located periodically around the site perimeter for security and will face inwards.
The development will also involve additional landscaping including hedgerow planting and improved biodiversity management. The site is currently pasture and arable land with low ecological value, however with the implementation of a biodiversity management plan the site will be significantly enhanced for biodiversity by creating a range of new habitats, offering food and shelter to wildlife.
THE NEED FOR THE PROJECT
Following the Government’s declaration of an “Environment and Climate Emergency” in May 2019, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) advised that to meet ‘Net Zero’ targets, the UK will require substantial amounts of new, low carbon power sources to be built before 2050, up to four times that of today’s levels.
South Staffordshire District Council (SSDC) declared their own climate emergency in July 2019 acknowledging that urgent action is required to limit the environmental impacts produced by the climate crisis and pledged to ‘think climate change in all we do to limit our impact on the environment.’ Since declaring a climate change emergency, SSDC have reduced their carbon emissions by 43% and have been hailed a ‘net zero leader.’
Solar is one of the cleanest, cheapest forms of energy available. The Deepmore Solar Farm would make a meaningful contribution to Staffordshire County’s energy needs by delivering green energy to the equivalent of up to 7,854 homes in the first year of generation.
Why this location?
This site has been identified following extensive site selection across Staffordshire which took into account environmental designations, local electricity network access and capacity, the physical characteristics of the site, including proximity to industrialised areas, and a supportive landowner.
Will there be any impacts on local roads?
For a period of approximately 6 months during construction, there will be deliveries of equipment to site. Renewable Connections will put in place measures to manage impacts of construction traffic and these measures will be included in a Construction Traffic Management Plan that will submitted with the planning application. There will be infrequent maintenance visits to the site during operation.
Will there be any permanent impact?
Solar farms are temporary and the land will be fully reinstated to farmland once the equipment is removed at the end of the project life.
Does solar pose a health risk?
No – solar is a passive technology which doesn’t produce any harmful by-products.
How long will the project be there?
The development proposes a life span of up to 40 years. No later than this, the development would be decommissioned, and the site returned to solely agricultural use. A decommissioning plan will be provided with the planning submission.
Are solar farms noisy?
No – solar farms are not noisy, producing no more than normal background levels of sound similar to wind or distant traffic beyond the site boundary.
What are the benefits to the local community?
Renewable Connections is committed to maximising benefits for the Brewood and Coven Parish Community. The project will support local businesses, provide enhanced business rates, and provide enhancements to wildlife. We will also establish a Community Benefit Fund and support local causes.
GET IN TOUCH
0800 254 5011
Deepmore Energy Centre Limited,
3 Noble Street,