BayWa r.e. has developed 31 solar farms in the UK, with a capacity of around 536MW. Image: BayWa r.e.

BayWa r.e. has launched a consultation for its 160MW Oaklands Farm Solar Park, South Derbyshire.

The company announced the mega project, which will sit west of the village of Rosliston and east of Walton-on-Trent, in 2021. It has since published its Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC), and Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR).

It is now inviting the local population in South Derbyshire to respond to its statutory consultation on the proposals, ahead of submitting an application for development in late 2022.

Given the scale of the project – in the region of 160MW and incorporating a 37.5MW battery energy storage system (BESS) on the site – an application for its development will need to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime.

“We have been working hard to review and assess the results of surveys and feedback from consultees since we first announced the project in 2021. We’re excited to now begin the statutory consultation process and I look forward to engaging with the local community over the coming weeks,” said Oaklands Solar Farm project manager, Ashley McInnes.

“The statutory consultation will take place from 21 April 2022 to 6 June 2022. Public exhibitions will take place in early May, with a full online virtual exhibition available for viewing during that period.”

The consultation events will take place at Walton-on-Trent Village Hall and Rosliston & Cauldwell Village Hall.

Oaklands Farm Solar Park is one of a number of NSIP’s currently in development in the UK, including Windel Energy and Canadian Solar’s 350MW Mallard Pass Solar Farm, Ecotricity’s Heckington Fen Solar Park, Evolution Power’s 165MW solar and storage project in Kent, Low Carbon’s 500MW Gate Burton solar and storage park in Lincolnshire, Island Green Power’s 600MW solar project and Longfield Solar Energy Farm in Essex.

INRG Solar’s 150MWp Little Crow Solar Farm recently became the second NSIP solar farm to gain a development consent order, following on from the 350MW Cleve Hill Solar Farm, which was approved in May 2020, before being acquired by acquired by Quinbrook and renamed Project Fortress.

BayWa r.e. has developed 142 utility-scale solar projects worldwide, with a total capacity of around 2000MW. This includes 31 solar projects in the UK, totalling approximately 536MW.

In December, it was granted planning permission for its 49.9MW Rag Lane Solar Farm project, whilst in June it acquired 100MW of co-located solar from JBM Solar.