The solar energy park
Our proposals for the energy park will comprise the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) generating panels and an on-site energy storage facility, on agricultural land wholly contained within the boundary of one site comprising some 684 hectares (equivalent to approximately 1,690 acres).
We have already established that an area to the northwest of the site will be a solar panel exclusion zone. However, we still have to determine how much of the land remaining will be used for solar panel modules and associated equipment, and how much more will be set aside as an exclusion zone for purposes of creating new or enchancing habitats for biodiversity gain.
We have not yet finalised the detailed design of the scheme for the energy park. The development of our proposals for Gate Burton Energy Park will be an iterative process.
At this early stage in the development process we have developed an indicative concept masterplan setting out the preliminary design of the land available for Gate Burton Energy Park. We will evolve the detailed design for the scheme based on the findings from our ongoing environmental and technical studies and feedback received through multiple stages of consultation.
The principal components of the energy park will comprise:
- Ground mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panels converting sunlight into electricity
- PV module mounting structures
- Supporting infrastructure - inverters, transformers and switchgear - converting the direct current to alternating current and stepping up the voltage so it can be exported to the national grid
- Onsite cables connecting the solar PV modules and energy storage system to invertors which, in turn, connect to the transformers. Higher voltage cables will then be required between transformers and the switchgear and from the switchgear to the offsite electrical infrastructure
- An energy storage system so electricity generated by the solar PV panels can be stored on site and released to the national grid when it is needed most. It may also enable energy to be imported from the national grid so it can be stored until it is needed
- On-site substation to export electricity from the energy park to the national grid. The substation will include a control building comprising office and welfare space as well as storage
- Security fencing enclosing the operational areas of the site in the form of 'deer fence' or other mesh fencing, along with pole mounted internal facing closed circuit television (CCTV) deployed around the perimeter of the operational site
- Accesses to the site during construction and for routine maintenance when the energy park is operational
- New planting around the site perimeter and within the solar PV area to enhance biodiversity and improve the landscape
- During construction one or more temporary construction compounds will be required, as well as temporary roadways, to enable access to all the land within the site boundary
Solar PV and energy storage technologies are rapidly evolving. The parameters of the application we submit for development consent will therefore maintain flexibility to allow us to use the latest technology available at the time of construction.