The solar project would be operational for 40-years. Image: Renewable Connections.

Renewables Connections’ 18.75MW Codrington Solar Farm has been granted consent by South Gloucestershire Council.

Being developed by the solar and battery storage developer, the site will be located to the north-east of Bristol with construction anticipated to take approximately 24 weeks.

An application had been submitted to the Council in October 2022 with approval having been granted on 11 August.

The project intends to be operational for 40-years with the bifacial solar panels then to be removed and land restored to its previous condition. In doing so, this will improve soil health and biodiversity levels.

Energy generated from this project would be exported to the national grid via a short cable running under the A46 to an adjacent substation site.

“We are delighted to have received approval for Codrington Solar Farm. Councils such as South Gloucestershire understand that urgent action is required to limit the environmental impacts produced by the climate crisis and many have now declared their own climate emergency,” said John Leith, development director at Renewable Connections.

“There are significant benefits to this scheme, aside from the obvious low carbon, home-grown energy it will deliver. The solar farm has been designed to allow a raft of landscape, ecological and biodiversity benefits. This includes barn owl boxes, bird nesting boxes, beehives, log piles and restoration of traditional field boundaries. 

“Land between and beneath the panels will be used for biodiversity enhancements and seasonal grazing. Existing hedgerows surrounding the site will be bolstered with additional hedgerow and tree planting. The new hedgerows will deliver biodiversity enhancements by providing green ecological corridors and generally the site would enhance or provide new habitats for a wide range of insects, birds and animals.”

This is the latest Renewable Connections project to receive council approval following Fife Council’s Planning Committee decision to greenlight the development of a 42MW battery energy storage system (BESS) in Dunfermline, Fife, in June.

The project, which has a maximum import capacity of 42MW, will be built on land at South Pargillis, Clockluine Road, Hillend, Dunfermline and will be connected into the Inverkeithing grid supply point. Construction of the project is scheduled to begin in 2024.