We have now submitted a planning application for the Gately Moor solar project:
- THE SOLAR FARM will have an export capacity of 49.99MW. A solar farm of this size will generate enough clean electricity to save to 25,370 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually compared to generating the same amount of electricity using coal. This represents a significant contribution to the legally binding national and international requirement and associated targets to increase renewable energy generation and reduce CO2 emissions. For context, the solar farm can meet the electricity needs of approximately 13,500 homes in the District;
- Battery Storage is proposed to increase the effectiveness of the Proposed Development, balancing the release of electricity produced from the solar farm and other renewable energy generators into the grid;
- This scheme represents a significant financial investment that would benefit the local economy during the construction and operational phase by using local contractors where possible;
- The solar farm will also provide economic benefits through the payment of business rates;
- Multiple third party technical reports have showed that the Proposed Development would have a minimal impact on the environment and if anything that it would offer significant ecological and landscape enhancement by securing a Biodiversity Net Gain of at least 10%;
- The Applicant will also be offering a community benefit fund of £50,000 to local organisations.
The site extends to approximately 123 hectares and comprises agricultural land across two blocks of land which are divided by a road linking Whinny Hill and Bishopton. The western section of the site is located within the administrative area of Darlington Borough Council and the eastern portion of the site (including the grid connection corridor) is located within the administrative area of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. There are also two parcels of land positioned to the north of Letch Lane which are proposed for the substation compound. The preferred option is located adjacent to the existing National Grid Norton Electricity Substation compound and the second back-up option is positioned approximately 900m west of the National Grid Substation. The site has been chosen for a number of reasons including:
- This site has a technically and commercially viable grid connection;
- The site is suitable for construction in terms of topography and field structure;
- There are no statutory designated areas within the site;
- The site is entirely located in Flood Zone 1 (i.e. with the lowest risk of flooding);
- The site has good access to the main highway network;
- The site contains no areas of higher quality agricultural land.