Elements Green launch first consultation phase for 1GW solar and battery storage park. Image: Elements Green.
Elements Green launch first consultation phase for 1GW solar and battery storage park. Image: Elements Green.

UK-based renewables developer Elements Green has announced the launch of the Great North Road solar and energy storage park’s public consultation stage.

Situated northwest of Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, the park has a potential generation   capacity of around 800MW.

Due to its proposed generation capacity being over 50MW, the solar park is classified as a nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP).

Therefore, once the public consultation has taken place, Elements Green will send an application to the department of energy security and net zero (DESNZ) for a development consent order (DCO,) anticipated to be submitted in Spring 2025.

Until then, however, the developer will continue with the first stage, running public sessions 29 January to Saturday 10 February and due to finish on 27 February 2024.

Mark Noone, project director for Great North Road Solar Park said: “Our plans for GNR Solar Park will align with those set by the British Energy Security Strategy, which aims to increase the UK’s solar capacity fivefold by 2035. With an installed capacity of over 1GW, GNR Solar Park would contribute 1.5% towards this target.”

Obstacles ahead

After Elements Green first unveiled the early-stage plans for the Great North Road solar park in October 2023, it has maintained its course, achieving first stage consultation within its previously defined timeline.

However, the developer’s application for a DCO may delay said timeline, as the UK government noted in February 2023 that DCOs have gone from taking 2.6 years to process to 4.2 years.

The following July, the government launched consultations on reforms for NSIP application processes, including the procurement of DCOs.

The document released by DESNZ stated that it intends to make the NSIP process “better, faster, greener, fairer and more resilient by 2025”, hopefully coinciding with Element Greens application timeline.

The project will have some competition as well, with Danish power company Ørsted having announced its venture into the UK renewable energy market in September 2023.

The firm is planning a fellow NSIP in the form of a 740MW solar park in Nottinghamshire, the same county that Element Greens has planted its Great North Road Solar Park.