Knighton Solar PV Scheme

The Development comprises solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that will provide up to 49.9MW of power.

Knighton Solar Site Location Plan

Above: Knighton Solar Site Location Plan

Introduction

ScottishPower Renewables (UK) Limited, (SPR) is developing Knighton Solar PV Scheme, comprising of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).  The proposed development, Knighton Solar PV Scheme, is located within an area of agricultural land north of Knighton, near Adbaston in Staffordshire (‘the Site’). The solar PV farm will export up to 49.9MW of renewable electricity to the wider electricity network, and the BESS will contribute to the overall efficiency of the Proposed Development, storing up to 15MW of energy in times of low demand on the network.  

Location

The Knighton Solar PV Scheme is located on agricultural land approximately 360m north of Knighton, and 800m west of the village of Adbaston in Staffordshire in the West Midlands, England. The Site encompasses 12 arable fields (approximately 113 ha in area) immediately west of Knighton Reservoir and immediately north of the Shropshire Union Canal. 

The Site will primarily be accessed via the existing farm access at Mount Farm along the eastern boundary.  A secondary access route will be made available via the existing access track to Knighton Grange along the southern boundary.  The Site is located within Stafford Borough Council. 

Development/ Project History

A pre-application Screening Request for the development was submitted to Stafford Borough Council in September 2021 and all key stakeholders were consulted.  The screening opinion issued on 19 April 2022 was the decision that an Environmental Statement was not required for the planning application. 

The scheme is currently under validation with the Council and the next stage of the project consists of working with a lead consultant on the planning submission including the completion of landscaping and environmental surveys.

Design Considerations & Evolution

The Proposed Development will consist of a Solar PV Farm and ancillary structures including a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), a substation and associated equipment, along with a new access junction, and a new network of internal single tracks.

The solar PV farm is proposed to consist of approximately 120,000 ground-mounted solar PV modules arranged in rows in groupings called ‘arrays’ running east to west and orientated to face south at a 0-25˚ incline.  The panels would have a mounting height of 1.5m, with the lowest edge approximately 600mm above ground level and a maximum table height of 3.5m.

The BESS will be housed in a containerised structure with dimensions of 150m by 60m, consisting of a mixture of double stacked DC containers each of dimensions 12.2m by 2.4m by 2.6m high. The proposed substation compound is proposed to have dimensions of 14m by 10m with a finished height of approximately 7m.

Preferred areas for the arrays and the ancillary development will be selected based on environmental, landscape and visual assessments.  Further details on the finalised design will be available prior to commencement of construction.

The indicative locations of the solar arrays and the ancillary development can be viewed in the Site Layout Plan.

Site Enhancements & Key benefits

In addition to the generation of renewable energy, the Knighton Solar PV Scheme will provide a host of environmental benefits for the site.

Embedded landscape and ecological mitigation proposed on Site include planting proposals and enhancements designed to complement and build upon the environmental resources present on and adjacent to the Site. It is the intention to fully consider other options for enhancements through environmental surveys as part of the planning process.

A summary of the enhancement measures is provided below:

  • Introduction of new hedgerows throughout the Site to screen the Proposed Development. Some are created along existing PRoWs and other key locations. Some sections of new hedgerows will be interspersed with tree planting along its length, retaining local character. Infilling of all existing hedgerows with species native to the Site;
  • Woodland planting is proposed in two fields along the western boundary of the Site.
  • An area of proposed mitigation is located centrally within the Site to diversify the number of habitats found across the Site.

The proposed planting and Habitat Management Areas can be viewed on the indicative Site Layout Plan.

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. 

To support the pre-application consultation activity, a dedicated website for a virtual Public Information Event (PIE) was launched by SPR on 10 December 2021. The virtual PIE website can be found here.

As SPR progress with the Knighton Solar PV Scheme 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 Knighton Solar PV Screening Documents

https://www12.staffordbc.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=externalDocuments&keyVal=QZKLMVPS05A00

Contact

The Project Team can be contacted directly by email.

 

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