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Elements Green unveil plans for UK’s first 1GW solar project near Newark on Trent

Elements Green, a UK-based renewables developer,  has unveiled plans for the UK’s first 1GW solar and energy storage park which would be located to the northwest of Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire. The site is of such a scale that on its own, it would contribute 1.5% towards the government’s target of 70GW solar capacity by 2035

Elements Green already has over 7GW in the development pipeline, with projects across the UK, Italy, Germany, Australia, and the USA

The ‘Great North Road Solar Park’, is categorised as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), and could supply power to around 400,000 homes (equivalent to 100 per cent of homes in Nottinghamshire) while prevent the emissions of more than 250,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

The project would comprise the installation of ground-mounted solar PV panels, an on-site energy storage facility, and the infrastructure needed to connect the scheme into Staythorpe National Grid substation in Nottinghamshire. 

Mark Noone, Project Director for Great North Road Solar Park said: ‘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 one gigawatt the scheme would help secure the UK’s future energy needs. 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.’

Work is currently underway to determine suitable areas for accommodating the principal components of the solar park which include solar photovoltaic panels (PV), an on-site energy storage facility and associated infrastructure to connect the scheme to the national grid at Staythorpe substation. The final scheme would include significant biodiversity enhancements including tree planting, wildflower meadows, and wetland areas.

The findings from this 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.

Mark continues: ‘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. 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.’

‘NG+ would make available in the region of £1m 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 programs, to woodland, biodiversity, and archaeology projects. This is in addition to the making an estimated contribution of circa £1.5m-£3m in business rates to the Newark and Sherwood district. The project would not rely on any form of government subsidy.’

The development process for Great North Road Solar Park is expected to take two to three years, with construction beginning  around 2027.

 

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