Huge solar park would generate enough electricity to power 18,000 Newport homes

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Plans for a solar park on the Gwent Levels which could power more than 18,000 homes per year have been revealed.

The development is proposed over farmland covering more than 100-hectares on the Caldicot Levels near the village of Redwick.

Around 157,500 solar panels would be erected as part of the development to convert sunlight to electrical energy, which would generate 75 megawatts of renewable energy per year.

The park would produce enough clean, renewable electricity to power 18,755 homes per year, equating to a saving of 16,611 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

A pre-application consultation, running until January 8, has been opened on the application, which will be considered by a planning inspectorate due to it being a Development of National Significance.

As well as the solar panels, the development would include 19 inverter stations, fencing and gates to enclose the panels and CCTV mounted on posts within each field.

The solar park would be in place for 35 years before being removed and the land returned to agricultural use.

A planning statement says the location has been chosen as it provides a “rare opportunity to complete an economically viable electricity grid connection”, with the site offering a connection to overhead electrical lines.

It also benefits from being “well-screened” and concealed from local viewpoints and properties, the plans state.

It is one of three applications currently being put forward for solar farms on the Gwent Levels.

Plans have also been lodged for a renewable energy hub on a site covering 155-hectares, between the villages of St Brides and Peterstone.

Concerns over the scale of that development have been raised, with the project including around 250,000 solar panels.

Newport City Council is also proposing to build a solar farm on the Wentlooge Levels, on land to the west of the River Ebbw near Maesglas landfill.

The proposal to build on the seven-hectare site, owned by the council, is also currently out for consultation.



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