Renewable Connections is investigating the potential to construct a solar farm of up to 30MW in size near Denchworth, South Oxfordshire called Manor Solar Farm. Once operational, the project would supply enough power for up to 11,132 homes in the first year of generation, and make a valuable contribution towards tackling the climate emergency in Oxfordshire.
As we prepare an application to submit to the Vale of White Horse District Council, Renewable Connections is undertaking consultation to inform local communities of our proposed plans and invite any feedback
We are inviting members of the community to provide any comments you have on the proposal either via the project website, or by email or post. We hosted a community consultation event on the 24th of November at Denchworth Village Hall. Comments provided by the local community will be taken into account in shaping the final planning application submission. The consultation period runs from the 8th of November and closes on the 8th of December 2022, however, Renewable Connections welcomes comments, feedback and questions at any point during the planning and development process.
of CO2 saved annually
33,119 megawatt hours supplied each year
Equivalent annual energy needs of up to 11,132 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
We have identified a site located near Denchworth, South Oxfordshire. The site is located centrally between the small villages of West Hanney (1km to the east), Denchworth (1km to the south) and Charney Bassett (0.9km to the north west). Comprising of approximately 50 hectares of agricultural land, in a roughly rectangular shape, located in the open countryside. The land has primarily been used for arable farming and once the solar farm is operational can be used to graze sheep.
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 are considered.
If consented and installed, the solar farm will have a capacity of up to 30MW and will be operational for up to forty 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 small substation that will connect into an on-site grid connection point via underground cabling. No new pylons will be necessary to facilitate the connection.
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 2.75m 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 stock fencing to protect the equipment from large animals 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 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.
Vale of White Horse District Council, who declared their own climate emergency in February 2019, has acknowledged that urgent action is required to limit the environmental impacts caused by climate change.
Manor Solar Farm will help to support the delivery of urgent national and local climate objectives to generate more renewable energy to support the move away from fossil fuels.
Solar is one of the cleanest, lowest cost forms of energy generation available. Manor Solar Farm would make a meaningful contribution to Oxfordshire’s energy needs by supplying enough green energy to power up to 11,132 homes in the first year of generation.
Why this location?
This site has been identified following extensive site selection across Oxfordshire which took into account environmental designations, local electricity network access and capacity, the physical characteristics of the site, 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 local community including establishing a community benefit fund. As well the environmental benefits of producing low carbon green energy, the project can improve local biodiversity via wildflower meadow planting, hedgerow infilling, as well as other ecological enhancement measures.
GET IN TOUCH
Manor Solar Farm,
3 Noble Street,