Driffield News

Plans for huge new solar farm near Driffield

Residents have been asked to give their views on plans to create one of the UK’s biggest solar energy farms on the outskirts of Driffield.

Elgin Energy wants to develop the project on 75 hectares of agricultural land at Sunderlandwick – and it would generate enough low carbon electricity to power 12,000 homes or 16,500 electric vehicles in the East Riding each year.

The company is looking for feedback before it starts the process of applying for planning permission, and held a consultation open day in Driffield last week.

Solar farms are clean, quiet and visually unobtrusive within the landscape. They do not produce any pollution or emissions and are quick to install.

elgin energy spokesperson

Elgin Energy describes itself as a leading solar development platform with operations in the UK, Ireland, and Australia.

It has delivered 21 projects to date, including the largest operational solar farms in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

If it is given the green light, it would take around four months to construct the 49.9 megawatt farm, which would be operational for 40 years before being decommissioned.

Elgin Energy says local contractors and businesses will be used ‘as far as possible’.

The location is off the A164 at Sunderlandwick and runs alongside the Driffield to Hull railway line.

The planned location at Sunderlandwick

Hundreds of solar panels will be installed in rows facing southwards, but the land can still be used for sheep grazing.

A statement for Elgin Energy to the Wolds Weekly said: “The UK is undergoing a major change in the way it meets its energy needs as part of the drive towards 2050 net-zero carbon targets.

“Increasing the amount of electricity generated by renewable technology is a key part of this process.

“This solar project will have a capacity of approximately 49.9MW which will have the ability to convert sunlight into enough renewable electricity annually to power circa 12,000 homes.

“Additionally, the lands can still be utilised for agricultural purposes with sheep grazing encouraged.

“Solar projects of this scale and larger are now common across the entirety of the UK with many presently operating and generating renewable energy.

“Solar farms are clean, quiet and visually unobtrusive within the landscape. They do not produce any pollution or emissions and are quick to install.

“A series of ecological and biodiversity enhancement measures will seek to build on the identified baseline environment as part of our drive to create net ecological benefits.

“Elgin are experienced solar developers and as part of our best-practice approach we will be undertaking a series of environmental assessments to examine any potential environmental impacts associated with the proposal.

“These assessments will form part of the planning application process and when available will be shared with the public via the project website.

“Presently, Elgin Energy are undertaking a community consultation exercise as part of our pre-planning process to encourage engagement and feedback from the public.

Cllr Jane Evison, whose East Wolds and Coastal ward covers the Sunderlandwick area, said: “With climate change pressures, we are going to be looking at alternative measures of creating energy.

“Consulting with the public at an early stage seems to be the right course of action to be taking, so I welcome the approach they are taking.”

You can give your views at www.sunderlandwicksolarfarm.com

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