Solar developer, Elgin Energy EsCo, has secured planning permission for a 5MW solar farm in Pembrokeshire.

The scheme was initially refused planning permission by Pembrokeshire County Council in June 2013, however, the decision was appealed by planners at Cardiff-based commercial property advisor, GVA, on behalf of Elgin Energy.

After an informal hearing in February this year, the inspector issued his formal decision this month which upheld the appeal and granted planning permission for the project. Commenting on the decision, Ben Lewis of GVA’s planning team said: “The refusal of the planning application by the Local Planning Authority was disappointing. We knew we had a strong case at appeal and this has been reflected in the inspector’s decision. Clearly, the ability of the scheme to contribute greatly to both local and national ambitions for increasing renewable energy generation was a significant consideration for the inspector.”

The 11-hectare site is predicted to generate around 5,000,000kWh of electricity annually – enough to supply 2,000 homes. The Pembrokeshire solar farm represents that company’s second utility-scale project in Wales.

Elgin Energy has revealed that it will install and maintain the 19,000 solar modules for a period of up to 30 years.

Lewis noted that Wales is benefitting from an increase in solar capacity. He said: “Wales is one of the best locations for solar energy in the UK: longer hours of daylight than locations further north mean that a greater concentration of panels are feasible on selected sites. The use of Renewable Obligation Certificates gives energy providers a way to meet government targets for renewable power provision. As a result we are seeing an increasing number of applications being prepared.”

Planning Policy Wales has also confirmed to GVA that Wales has potential capacity for 1GW of local electricity generation to be delivered by 2015/17.