Kemble Solar Farm

Aura Power are working with the Bathurst Estate on a solar farm proposal on land southwest of Kemble and northeast of Chelworth. The solar farm could generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of up to 14,441 homes, thereby saving up to 25,787 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year. These figures are based on the expected capacity of up to 49.9MW. 

Kemble Solar Farm will be built without subsidy, and will therefore compete with fossil fuel generation on a level playing field. By increasing the supply of clean power, our solar farm will help to reduce national power prices, whilst securing regional investment and green jobs. As a local business, our solar farm will also be contributing nearly £100,000 in business rates to Cotswold and Wiltshire Councils every year.

Furthermore, Aura is proposing a Community Benefit Fund of £350 per MW per year (index-linked), for the lifetime of the solar farm. This could amount to £17,500 a year for 40 years or nearly £700,000 in total. £2,000 a year would be set aside for educational sessions with local schools and site visits to the solar farm. The remainder will would typically be administered by the local parish councils and used for social and environmental community projects.

As well as contributing to local and national targets in the drive to net zero, our proposal offers significant enhancements to local biodiversity; a much needed factor in tackling the current climate and ecological crisis.

Latest news

Following engagement with the local community, we have made further amends to the design of the solar farm and submitted our planning application to the local planning authorities. A summary of our proposal can be found further down this page.

The planning application is now available to view on Cotswold District Council and Wiltshire Council Planning websites. You can view the full application and submit your comments through clicking the relevant links below: 

  • 10th November 2020: Public Consultation Webinar

    On the 10th November we held a Pre-Planning Public Consultation Webinar and Q&A session event where we outlined the proposal and answered questions from the local community. A recording of this webinar is available to watch below.

  • Summer 2021: Design Finalised and Planning Application Submitted

    We submitted our planning application to Cotswold District Council and Wiltshire Council. Details of how to view the application can be seen in the latest news section.

  • Winter 2021: Planning Decision

    The application will be determined by each respective planning authority. This process can take anything from 13 weeks to 40.

  • Summer 2022: Construction (If approved)

    Once Planning Permission is successfully obtained we will begin construction as soon as possible. We don’t anticipate this to commence before Summer 2022 and will continue to keep the local community updated.

Public Consultation

Due to social distancing measures we held a pre planning public consultation webinar in November 2020.  Here we presented our initial plans and answered any questions from the local community. A recording of the webinar can be found by clicking here.

Since presenting our initial plans, we have made significant amends to the site design through extensive engagement with local residents. These include the relocation of a number of panels as well as implementing more effective planting.

The local planning authorities will now be consulting with local residents on our application. However we will continue to engage with the local community throughout the planning determination period and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Our Proposal:

Whilst offering ecological benefits locally, we understand that solar farms can represent a change to the landscape. As such, we conducted a number of environmental and visual surveys to establish and mitigate any such effects.

We have worked closely with local residents to address concerns and amended our site design to allow further setback from footpaths and residences as well as planting mature trees and hedgerows for more immediate screening.

Plan Summary:

  • The solar farm would generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 14,441 typical homes annually
  • It would save an estimated 25,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, helping to achieve local and national carbon reduction targets.
  • Community benefit fund of £350 per MW, index-linked, per year, for the lifetime of the solar farm. This could amount to £17,500 a year for 40 years or nearly £700,000 in total.
  • Educational sessions and local school visits to the solar farm offered.
  • Surface water management measures incorporated specifically to help alleviate the existing flooding residents face in Kemble Wick.
  • Limited visual impact on the surrounding area, assisted by the proposed tree and hedgerow planting.
  • The land around the panels will stay in agricultural use, with sheep grazing for part of the year.
  • The ecology and biodiversity of the site would be significantly enhanced through the planting of new hedgerows, areas of woodland and tree belts and wildflowers planted around the perimeter of the entire site.
  • Access to the site would be off the A429.
  • Construction is expected to take around 4 – 6 months. Deliveries will be restricted, wherever possible, to off-peak weekdays (9 am to 3 pm) to reduce impacts on local road users. Maintenance vehicles to the site once the solar farm is operational will be minimal.
  • A Construction Management Plan will be agreed with the Local Authority before construction starts.

The revised site layout and landscaping can be seen in the image to the right – please click to enlarge.

The planning application is now available to view on Cotswold District Council and Wiltshire Council Planning websites. You can view the full application and submit your comments through clicking the relevant links below: 

To find the site location on google maps, click here.

25787
tonnes of CO2 saved

Based upon 430 tonnes of carbon dioxide per GWh for electricity supplied by fossil fuels, published by DBEIS (28th March 2019) 2018 UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Provisional Figures Statistical Release: National Statistics.

59969
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.

14441
homes powered with electricity

Stated figure is calculated the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Stratedy ‘Sub-national electricity consumption statistics 2017’ updated September 2019, which reports an average domestic consumption per household in the South West of 4,152.64kWh (DBEIS, 2019). NB. All figures reported to 3 significant figures unless stated otherwise.

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Contact details

chloe.hood@aurapower.co.uk

0117 214 1971

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