Bishampton Solar Farm

Aura Power have been granted planning permission for 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 have a capacity of 30MW and 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

Since submitting our plans in October last year, we have worked with the planning officer on improving our site design, taking on board the comments from local residents and statutory consultees. These improvements include:

  • reducing the height of the panels
  • opening up of footpaths
  • relocation and reduction in size of substation
  • provision of surface water management measures
  • additional ecological enhancement area

The application was granted consent at the Wychavon District Council Committee Meeting on Thursday 27th May 2021.

Construction is not due to commence until at least the Summer of 2022 and will update this page once this is confirmed.

You can view and comment on the new plans 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 Submitted

    The Planning Application was submitted.

  • Spring 2021: Planning Decision

    The application was granted consent at the Wychavon District Council Committee Meeting on Thursday 27th May 2021.

  • Spring 2022: Construction (if approved)

    Construction expected to take around 12 weeks and will begin no earlier than Spring 2022. The local community will be notified in advanced once construction dates are confirmed.

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

Through engaging with the local community and listening to local feedback, we made substantial changes to the site design. We will continue to work with the local parish council and community through the next phases of construction and operation.

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.

Since submitting our plans in October last year, we have worked on improving our site design, taking on board the comments from local residents and statutory consultees. These improvements include:

  • reducing the height of the panels
  • opening up of footpaths
  • relocation and reduction in size of substation
  • provision of surface water management measures
  • additional ecological enhancement area

Our studies have shown that any impacts will be avoided as far as possible, and mitigated where not. The land will continue to be used for food production, with sheep grazing likely to be administered by the current landowners.

Our plans have now been approved and remain available to view on Wychavon Council’s planning page by clicking here.

Ethical Supply Chain and Sustainability

Having an ethical and transparent supply chain is a matter Aura Power takes very seriously, particularly as part of a sector that strives for the highest standards of sustainability. You can see our statement on this topic by clicking the button below.

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Contact details

0117 214 1982

Aura Power Solar UK LTD, Penthouse Office, 30 Queen Square, Bristol, BS1 4ND