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Elements Green confirms plans for new solar and energy storage park

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Energy Global,

Elements Green, a leading renewables developer based in the UK, is at an early stage in developing plans for Great North Road Solar Park – a new solar and energy storage park located to the northwest of Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire.

With a potential generation capacity of around 800 MW AC of solar energy, the scheme has the potential to meet the power needs of approximately 400 000 homes while avoiding more than 250 000 tpy of carbon dioxide emissions.

Mark Noone, Project Director for Great North Road Solar Park, said: “The UK government has set ambitious and legally binding targets to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050. More renewable energy is needed to fast-track away from fossil fuel, and the government's stated ambition of increasing the nation’s solar capacity five-fold to 70 GW by 2035 recognises the important role large scale solar development will play in achieving this.

“Our proposals for Great North Road Solar Park build on the Trent Valley’s long history of powering the UK. With an installed capacity of over 1 GW DC the scheme offers an effective, clean solution that would help secure the UK’s future energy needs, contributing 1.5% towards the government’s 2035 solar photovoltaic (PV) target. Stepping up the production of sustainable, home-grown electricity it would also contribute to tackling the cost-of-living crisis head-on through the reduction of household energy bills.”

Elements Green has identified multiple parcels of land extending to the north of the A617 and the west of the A1 to deliver the scheme. Work is currently underway to determine suitable areas for accommodating the principal components of the solar park which include solar PV panels, an on-site energy storage facility and associated infrastructure to connect the scheme to the national grid at Staythorpe substation, as well as significant biodiversity enhancements including tree planting, wildflower meadows, and wetland areas. Findings from surveys and assessments will also consider enhancements to existing public rights of way and the creation of additional permissive walkways.

The findings from the initial work will be shared through a first stage of community consultation anticipated in early 2024. Feedback to this consultation will be used to inform and refine more detailed proposals on which a further stage of consultation will be carried out.

“We believe that local communities have an important role to play in helping to inform and influence how our proposals for Great North Road Solar Park evolve,” explained Mark. “We want to deliver this project responsibly and are committed to consulting as widely and effectively as possible, working together with residents, businesses and community organisations to improve and enhance our proposals as our plans for the project progress.

“We’re extremely keen to hear about any initiatives we could support or deliver to benefit those communities closest to the development through our community benefit scheme, known as NG+, which will be directly linked to this project,” he continued.

“NG+ would make available in the region of £1 million per annum to provide grants for residential and commercial energy efficiency measures and small scale renewable energy schemes, through to supporting community projects, apprenticeships, school and college programmes, to woodland, biodiversity, and archaeology projects. This is in addition to making an estimated contribution of approximately £1.5 – £3 million in business rates to the Newark and Sherwood district. The project would not rely on any form of government subsidy.”

Great North Road Solar Park is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) because the amount of electricity it could generate exceeds 50 MW. This requires Elements Green to submit an application for a development consent order (DCO) to the Planning Inspectorate. Ultimately, the Secretary of State for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) will decide whether to grant consent.

It is anticipated that the development process through DCO submission and examination will take between 2 – 3 years. Subject to achieving consent, construction would begin around 2027.



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