Bishampton Solar Farm

Aura Power is proposing a solar farm on land to north of Broad Lane, near Bishampton, Worcestershire. The proposed location falls within the district of Wychavon, and the parish of Bishampton. The solar farm will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 7,812 typical homes, thereby saving 9,738 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year.

Solar energy is a proven technology in decarbonising power generation and securing the supply of energy; priorities strongly supported by UK government, policy, and the public.

The proposal is to install a solar farm that would be entirely self-funded, and devoid of any government subsidy. Furthermore, by increasing the volume of clean energy in the electricity market, this and other solar farms will help contribute to keep energy prices as low as possible.

As a local business, our solar farm will also be contributing over £50,000 in business rates to Wychavon District Council every year. Furthermore, Aura is proposing to set up a Community Benefit Fund of £350 per MW per year (index-linked), for the lifetime of the solar farm. This could amount to £10,500 a year for 35 years or over £360,000 in total to be spent on used for social and environmental community projects. £1,000 a year would be set aside for educational sessions with the local school and site visits to the solar farm. We are also proposing wildflower, trees and hedgerow planting which will improve local biodiversity.

Latest news

The planning application has now been submitted. The Local Planning Authority will consult with local people and interested parties on the application prior to making a decision based upon the South Worcs Development Plan and national policy, including the National Planning Policy Framework.

You can view the planning application here:

https://plan.wychavon.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=103856

  • 28th July 2020: Pre-Planning Public Exhibition

    On the 28th July we held a Pre-Planning Public Consultation Webinar and Q&A session event where we outlined the proposal and took questions from the local community. A recording of this webinar is available to watch at the top of this page.

  • August 2020: Finalise Proposed Design

    We considered all community feedback from the Public Consultation before finalising the design, ready for submission.

  • October 2020: Planning Application

    The Planning Application was submitted.

  • Winter 2020: Planning Decision

    The Planning Decision will be formalised within 13 weeks of the date of submission.

  • Spring/ Summer 2021: Construction (if approved)

    Once Planning Permission is successfully obtained we will begin construction. Construction of a solar farm on this nature is expected to take around 12 weeks.

9738
tonnes of CO2 saved every year

Based upon 340 tonnes of carbon dioxide per GWh for electricity supplied by gas, published by DBEIS (28th March 2019) 2018 UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Provisional Figures Statistical Release: National Statistics.

28624
MWh (net) of electricity every year.

Using a Solar Radiation Database (source: https://www.rensmart.com/Maps) figure of 3.33kwh/m2/day, a candidate solar panel irradiation efficiency of 15.1% and 10% array losses.

7812
equivalent number of homes powered with electricity

Based on figures from DECC 2019 average household electricity consumption figures for the West Midlands.

Public Consultation Webinar

Hearing the views of the local community is very important to us and we strongly value your feedback. Due to current social distancing measures, we held our public consultation via a webinar on the 28th July. Here we outlined the proposal and answered questions from the local community. This webinar was recorded and is available to view below. 

As the planning application is now live, you can now view the proposal in full here and make a comment on the planning portal page.

Since the public consultation, the planning application that has been submitted is for a lower capacity project of 30MW (due to technical constraints), which has correspondingly reduced the generation data and overall size of the community fund that were described in the consultation video.

What is a Solar Farm?

A solar farm comprises a series of solar panels on pole mounted tables that form solar arrays. Additional equipment such as transformers, inverters, fencing, and a small substation, etc. would also be installed in order to connect the solar farm into the local electricity grid.

Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, which is then exported directly into the electricity network. In order to maximise electricity production, the panels will be arranged in a southerly direction, and will be tilted at an angle to maximise the energy collected from sunlight.

Why do we need solar farms?

Aura Power is committed to help the UK reach its target of Net Zero emissions by 2050. As we emerge from this unprecedented global health crisis, the Government has pledged to ‘build back greener’ as part of its economic stimulus measures. There is a clear imperative to think global and act local and we hope that Bishampton solar farm can be a part of this.

Why here?

The site has been selected because:

  • With appropriate mitigation, a solar farm here can have a relatively low impact on the nearby area.
  • We have secured a suitable connection to the electricity grid nearby.
  • The site is naturally well-screened, almost entirely screened by tall hedgerows.
  • There are good levels of sunlight (solar irradiation) in this part of the country.
  • There is good access to the site.

Our Proposal so far:

Whilst offering ecological benefits locally, we understand that solar farms can represent a change to the landscape. As such, we are conducting a number of environmental and visual surveys to establish the presence of any such effects. We endeavour that any impacts will be avoided as far as possible, and mitigated where not. In terms of usage, the land will continue to be used for food production, with sheep grazing likely to be administered by the current landowners.

We welcome the thoughts of local residents about our plans, please do send over your comments by contacting us using the form at the bottom of this page.

Leave a comment

Your feedback is very important to us. Please leave a comment and one of our project team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Contact details

0117 214 1982

Aura Power Solar UK LTD, 3 Portwall Lane, Bristol, BS1 6NB