Large solar farm planned close to King's Lynn
An energy company has unveiled a plan to built a large solar farm on the outskirts of Lynn.
It says that the project, on 56.44 hectares of agricultural land at Estuary Farm, off Kilham's Way, would generate enough energy for 13,500 homes every year and would have a life span of 40 years.
In a statement contained in the planning application to West Norfolk Council, the company says: “ The proposed development represents an exciting project which will make a meaningful contribution to the renewable energy landscape in the UK, thus assisting to reduce our reliance on imported energy and fossil fuels.”
The applicant is Namene Solar, which has joined forces with global provider Solar Energy Solutions.
This proposal is described as "an opportunity for a renewable energy development that will produce a significant amount of renewable, carbon-free electricity, connecting directly to the local electricity distribution network, helping to support the nation’s wider renewable energy strategy, and meeting the government's clean energy targets."
The application is for the construction of an up to 49.99 MW Solar PV array and circa 15 MW battery storage, comprising ground mounted solar PV panels, battery storage compound, vehicular access from the existing site entrance with internal access tracks, landscaping and associated infrastructure including security fencing, CCTV cameras, client storage containers and grid connection infrastructure, including transformer and substation buildings and off-site cabling.”
The site is set iopen countryside with the village of South Wootton to the eastern boundary. Access would be from an existing route in Kiham's Way which leads to the current recycling and waste facility at Estuary Farm.
The applicants explain the choice of location saying it is the only viable site in the area: “Coastal areas and sites in close proximity receive very high levels of sunshine when compared to the country as a whole. The site’s open, rural location, and the fact that it is not shaded by any nearby features in the landscape make highly suitable for this type of development. This provides a clear benefit to a scheme of this nature as it results in significantly more electricity generation than at other locations.
"The development would have a lifespan of about 40 years. At the end of the useful life of the facility, it will be decommissioned, and all the associated equipment will be removed. It is considered that the land can then be quickly reverted to agricultural use."
The application is supported by a Highways statement which describes the effects that the construction phase of the solar farm is likely to have on traffic flows in the local area. It says that once operational, the site will encounter low levels of traffic with one or two visits per week for regular maintenance and inspection purposes only.
The applicants carried out a public consultation exercise in May with power-point presentations, meetings with residents and parish councils and sent out 228 letters directly to South Wootton residents.