We consider many key drivers when planning a solar farm, including the following:
There is a legal requirement that the land is returned to its original condition at the end of our lease and money is set aside to ensure this can happen. Our panels are mounted on pile driven frames that cause minimum disturbance to the land and can be easily removed.
Like any other electrical waste, solar panels need to be disposed of responsibly.
In Europe over 70% of PV manufacturers take part in a global PV CYCLE Network that helps producers meet the legal obligations of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive legislation. As members of this initiative, producers are actively engaged in the sustainability of their product during manufacturing and throughout its lifespan. Components of the panels are broken down and recycled, not just disposed of.
Natural habitat is a key focus for us, and we have partnered with the RSPB to make sure we get it right. As well as reinforcing existing hedgerows and planting new ones, we plant trees, sow native grass and flower mixes and manage the field margins to provide habitat for pollinators and small birds and mammals. Amphibian habitat is retained and protected in existing hedges, ditches and ponds, and cuttings from around the site are used to make habitat piles for the benefit of invertebrates, small mammals and reptiles. Where there are local populations of barn owls we provide opportunities for them to nest onsite. Whilst the deer fencing is designed to keep deer away from the electrical equipment (for their safety and to prevent damage), roe deer are commonly found ‘inside the fence’ on solar farms and are quite content. The fencing has a 15cm gap at the base to allow small animals such as hedgehogs to pass under, and regular mammal gates for larger animals to enter and leave the site.
Alongside solar panels, there will be:
All electrical and electronic devices create electromagnetic fields or EMF around them when used and also emit electromagnetic radiation or EMR. This includes solar panels and solar inverters as well as most electrical devices in our homes – televisions, radios, fridges and mobile phones. It’s the level and type of EMR that is important. EMR from solar panels and solar inverters is non-ionizing and is well within national health based guidelines. Refer to the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation (ICNIRP) for more details about EMF and EMR in our daily lives www.icnirp.org.
BESS stands for Battery Energy Storage System. Its role is to provide electrical energy storage as part on the UK’s strategy to decarbonise the grid, and to safeguard our local energy supply.
BESS’s import electrical power during periods of oversupply from renewable generators, which would otherwise be wasted. This power is, subsequently, exported back to the grid during periods of low renewable generation, offsetting the need for fossil fuels.
Yes, the BESS technology that we use is modern, and extremely safe. We build to the latest guidelines, and consult with fire services throughout the planning process.
All units are fully containerised and contain individual fire suppression systems.
We always complete a full noise assessment, the results of which are available for comment once planning applications have been submitted.
We do not expect any noise to exceed background levels, which means that they are not audible.
BESS sites are quick to install as they are comprised of prefabricated units, which are built off site. This means we expect a whole site to take approximately 16 weeks to build from beginning to end.
Our planning applications are usually for a maximum of 40 years. After this the units will be recycled and the land would be reverted to its previous use.
No, our projects come subsidy free. Although they are paid for privately, the benefits are for the British public.
BESS sites need to be close to a substation.
Every substation will require a BESS as the electricity network modernises over the coming years.
No. We submit full flood and drainage strategies with our planning applications, but we do not expect our developments to have any affect on local flood risk.
The majority of our sites will be owned and operated by Bluefield.
Planning permission is granted to the site regardless of who owns or operates it. So any planning conditions that have been agreed by Lightrock Power will be upheld by Bluefield.
Lighrock Power take ecology seriously. We have partnerships with both the RSPB and Buglife, who advise us on how to achieve the biggest biodiversity net gain.
We also work with other wildlife organisations where relevant, such as the Wildlife Trusts and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.