The Little Crow Solar Farm will sit across 226 hectares in Lincolnshire. Image: Andreas Gücklhorn (unsplash).

INRG Solar has been granted a development consent order (DCO) for its 150MWp Little Crow Solar Farm.

It is the second solar Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) to be granted such by the Planning Inspectorate, following on from the 350MW Cleve Hill Solar Farm, which was approved in May 2020. That has since been acquired by Quinbrook and renamed Project Fortress, with construction expected to start in H2 2022.

The Hampshire-based solar developer registered the Little Crow Solar Farm – which is designated as a NSIP due to being over 50MW – in 2018, ahead of it being submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 4 December 2020 and accepted for Examination on 23 December 2020.

Since then, the public and interested parties have been able to give evidence on the proposed development, which has been considered by the Planning Inspectorate ahead of its recommendations. These were made to the Secretary of State, who granted development consent on 5 April 2022.

The solar farm site covers 226 hectares, with the arrays consisting of 356,670 solar panels set to cover 153 hectares of this. Along with the solar power, there will be a battery energy storage system (BESS) installed onsite, with output of up to 90MW.

Little Crow Solar Farm, which is located in Lincolnshire, about 2.5km northwest of the village of Broughton and directly to the east of the British steelworks at Scunthorpe, is expected to have a lifespan of 35 years.

Interest in solar NSIP’s has picked up over the last couple of years, with nine registered with the Planning Inspectorate. This includes Windel Energy and Canadian Solar’s 350MW Mallard Pass Solar Farm, Ecotricity’s Heckington Fen Solar Park, Evolution Power’s 165MW solar and storage in Kent, Low Carbon’s 500MW Gate Burton solar and energy storage park in Lincolnshire, Island Green Power’s 600MW solar project, Longfield Solar Energy Farm in Essex and BayWa r.e.’s 163MW Oaklands Solar Farm.