Two Swindon solar farms to go ahead under Local Development Order

Two solar farms are being developed in Swindon after the council successfully implemented a Local Development Order (LDO) which granted permitted development for over 20 potential solar projects across the area.

The two 8MW solar farms are claimed to be the first PV projects in the UK to secure planning permission through an LDO. The two sites are located on a former landfill site in Blunsdon and at Common Farm in Wroughton.

Both the projects are being developed as split-ownership projects which offer local communities the opportunity to invest in the sites, and both sites have secured pre-accreditation under the feed-in tariff.

Local authority-owned energy company, Public Power Solutions (PPS) - who will develop the site - is now launching a mini-tender for the sites’ procurement process.

James Owen, commercial director at PPS, explained: “Using our Dynamic Purchasing System, PPS has been able to put together a competitive mini-tender quickly to ensure that we can work with the appropriate organisations so that the solar farms are energised in time to meet the feed-in tariff pre-accreditation requirements.”

The dynamic purchasing system is an all-electric purchasing system for goods, works and services that can run up to four years. As the dynamic purchasing system remains opens to suppliers and service providers, PPS claims that it can be continually refreshed with new providers. PPS believes that the system helps streamline the procurement process for solar dramatically and in compliance with OJEU regulations.

As part of the mini-tender, PPS is looking for financiers, Independent Connection Providers, PPA Providers, Operating, Maintenance and Revenue Assurance Organisations, Community Trust Fund Managers, and EPCs.

The tender expires at midday on 14 August 2015.