solar panels on green grass with orange trees behind
The proposed One Earth Solar Farm could power over 200,000 homes. Image: One Earth Solar Farm

Renewable energy developers PS Renewables and Ørsted have announced a second round of community consultations for their proposed One Earth Solar Farm and updated proposals for the project.

The proposed solar farm, which will be located primarily in Nottinghamshire, could deliver 740MW of energy to the National Grid, enough to power over 200,000 homes. This production volume qualifies the project as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), which means it will require a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the secretary of state for energy security and net zero.

This second round of public consultations follows a previous round that took place in autumn 2023. Feedback from the earlier consultation, as well as environmental and technical reports, has informed the new and improved project proposals. From 29 May to 9 July, people can share their views via several in-person and online meetings.

Matt Hazell, co-owner of PS Renewables said: “We are excited to launch the second consultation for One Earth Solar Farm. We appreciate everyone who took the time to provide feedback during the first consultation. We considered the feedback we received carefully and have made a number of significant changes to the project, which we will present during this second consultation.”

Randall Linfoot, investment and program manager at Ørsted added: “This project marks an exciting milestone for Ørsted as we bring our expertise in renewable energy projects to solar energy in the UK. In line with our other projects, we want to work with local residents, community groups, and elected officials to ensure that the project is developed in a way that is sensitive to the community and environment, and that the benefits of the project are felt in the local area.”

Community support is vital

As the number of solar projects grows, support from local communities is a key factor in getting projects into development.

In March, the secretary of state refused planning permission for a 49MW solar farm in Nottinghamshire, believing that it would significantly impact the appearance and character of the local landscape. This occurred despite an environmental report showing that the project would have brought a 195% net biodiversity gain to the area.

Meanwhile, local officials have raised concerns about a lack of transparency for communities in the planning permission process. Councillor Andrew Stringer of Suffolk County Council recently called for “answers from the developer,” Elmya Energy, regarding proposed plans for a 200MW, 750-acre solar farm to be located in the mid-Suffolk area.

Solar Power Portal’s publisher Solar Media will host the UK Solar Summit on 4-5 June 2024 in London. The event will explore the UK’s new landscape for utility and rooftop solar, looking at the opportunities within a GW+ annual market, and much more. For more information, go to the website.