Bryn Henllys Solar PV Scheme

The Development comprises solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that will provide up to 25.77 MW of power.

Bryn Henylls Site Plan

Introduction

In January 2022, SPR acquired the Bryn Henllys Solar PV project from Lightsource BP as part of a portfolio of 17 projects with a combined capacity of more than 800 MW. The portfolio will be the largest to be delivered in the UK’s post-subsidy market, demonstrating the key role that solar PV combined with storage will play in the UK’s future generation mix, providing flexible and competitive renewable energy.

The Bryn Henllys scheme is for 25.77MW comprising two phases:

  • The original site (red line boundary in above figure); and

  • The extension site (red dashed area in above figure).

Location

The Bryn Henllys Solar PV project is located at the Bryn Henllys Open Cast Mine site, approximately 1.2km to the north of Cwn-twrch-Uchaf, Swansea, Powys in Wales.  The site is wholly within the administrative area of Powys County Council and is in the Ystradgynlais Community Parish.

Proposed Development / Project History

The Bryn Henllys original scheme was consented in 2015 for a 20MW solar farm and was approved by Powys County Council planning committee in June 2018. In 2019, a planning application was submitted for a 9.9MW extension to the solar farm and was subsequently consented in 2020, however due to available grid capacity, the development will produce a total of 25.77MW.

The Bryn Henllys site will cover an area of approximately 69 ha (170 acres) and will be connected to the local electricity network via a 6km 33kV cable/OHL route to the substation at Traveller’s Rest to southeast of the site.
Access will be from Palleg Road, at its southern extent, Palleg Road forms a priority junction with Cwmphil Road, which in turn connects the A4068 via a mini-roundabout junction to the south west of the junction with Palleg Road. The A4068 links to the A4067, which is a high standard route from the M4 Junction 45, approximately 18km to the south. The access is of a standard and scale to accommodate regular HGV traffic. Bryn Henllys Extension will use the same access as Bryn Henllys solar farm, with materials transferred within Bryn Henllys solar farm and the application site.

A Site Layout Plan can be viewed here along with associated constraints on site

SPR completed the acquisition of Bryn Henllys solar PV project in January 2022 and since this time, have been working with Powys County Council to discharge pre-commencement planning conditions.  SPR are now working with the landowner to bring both the original, consented solar site and the extension site to completion, with construction programmed to commence in Q1 2023.

Design Considerations & Evolution

As per the planning consent for the Extension, solar panels at the Bryn Henllys site are to extend from approximately 0.86 m above the existing round level to a maximum height of 2.9 m.  SPR envisage panel heights extending from 0.5m to 2.9m in height, therefore subsequent planning consent is required in the form of a Section 73 application.

In addition to the above, SPR aim to align the ecological, landscape and biodiversity commitments across the original and extension sites to ensure management and maintenance operations reflect and enhance the current land use scenario.

Further details on the finalised design will be available prior to commencement of construction.

Site Enhancements / Key benefits

In addition to the generation of renewable energy, the Bryn Henllys solar PV project will provide a number of other benefits including:

  • Maintained existing boundary vegetation onsite;

  • Additional planting to bolster existing vegetation, improving visual screening of the site and the subsequent ecological benefits;

  • Bird and bat boxes to be erected on trees located within the hedgerows on site;

  • Bespoke Biodiversity Management Plan to guide enhancement of existing habitats and creation of new habitats to support local wildlife, including native species.

  • Grassland will be maintained by sheep grazing, thereby retaining an agricultural use of the land with wildflower grassland species planted throughout;

  • A sustainable drainage strategy, involving the implementation of SuDS in the form of swales, is proposed to manage the disposal of surface water runoff;

  • Limiting construction effects by using consented access route rather than creating a new route.

The above benefits introduce enhanced biodiversity potential to the site and its immediate surroundings whilst maintaining continued agricultural use on site.  As such, effects on ground condition as the site will be restored and returned to its current agricultural state with the addition of biodiversity enhancements 40 years after first export of electricity.

As part of the planning commitments, it was agreed that a £1,000 per MW (installed capacity as a single payment) would be paid to the Ystradgynlais Community Parish.  This would apply for both the proposed Bryn Henllys Extension site and consented Bryn Henllys scheme totalling approximately £29,900, subject to the final design. These funds will directly benefit residents to the scheme through supporting local projects and initiatives.

The proposal represents a significant and important contribution to meeting the legally binding target the UK is required to achieve by 2020 of 15% of its energy consumption to be derived from renewable sources and the more challenging targets beyond this date in 2030 and 2050.

Community Consultation

Consultation is key to the way SPR develops projects and ensure that local communities and stakeholders are given the opportunity to provide feedback throughout the various stages.

As SPR progress with the Bryn Henllys Solar Development, this webpage will be revised on a regular basis with project updates. You can contact the project team on the project mailbox address noted in the "Contact" section below.

Project Documents

Please click on the links below to view the Bryn Henllys solar PV project planning documents:

Contact

The Project Team can be contacted directly by email

 

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