Solar technologies capture solar radiation from the sun and turn it into useful forms of energy. Photovoltaic (PV) panels comprise several PV cells (which typically produce 1-2 watts of power each) with a whole panel typically producing 250-500 watts depending on the make and model. These PV cells are made of different semiconductor materials, such as silicone, and are sandwiched between protective materials in a combination of glass and / or plastics. When a photon of light from the sun strikes the semiconductor material, it displaces charged particles known as electrons and creates an electrical current. This Direct Current (DC) electricity is then able to be extracted via conductive metal contacts and converted to Alternating Current (AC) electricity via inverters for transmission via the National Grid network.
Renewco Power and Locogen have together submitted a planning application under LPA Ref. 23/02598/FULL for a 39 Megawatt (MW) solar farm with 10 MW co-located battery storage on land at Glenniston Farm, Auchtertool, Fife. The planning application was validated in September 2023 and will be assessed by planning officers over the coming months, with a decision expected early next year.
Further details of the proposals are set out in the following sections.
The proposal is for a 39MW solar farm with 10MW co-located battery storage and associated infrastructure. The final layout as submitted to Fife Council is shown below and accompanies the planning application. Full details of the planning application can be found here: 23/02598/FULL.
Indicative Development Timescale
Preliminary Assessments Site Design and Public Engagement
Discharge of Planning Conditions
Why is this project needed?
The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019, which amends the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, sets targets to reduce Scotland’s emissions of all greenhouse gases to net zero by 2045 at the latest, with interim targets for reductions of at least 56% by 2020, 75% by 2030, and 90% by 2040. Furthermore, there is a national target to generate 50% of Scotland’s overall energy consumption via renewable means by 2030. Significant additional renewable energy capacity, over and above what is produced today, will therefore be needed to facilitate the decarbonisation of transport and heating as Scotland transitions to net zero.
The solar farm element of the scheme will have an export capacity of 39 MW. A solar farm of this size is expected to generate and export approximately 53 Gigawatt Hours (GWh) of renewable energy every year. This is equivalent to the typical annual electricity demand of c. 18,000 homes in the UK. The proposed solar farm will also offset approximately 22,590 tonnes of CO2 in its first year of operation, using National Grid 2021 averages. This represents a significant contribution to the UK’s legally binding national and international targets to increase renewable energy generation capacity and reduce carbon emissions.
The 10 MW battery storage element could have a storage capacity of up to 20 Megawatt Hours (MWh) per full charge depending on the technology used. For comparison, the average UK household uses around 3.731 MWh of energy across an entire year. On this basis, a single full charge could provide sufficient energy to power around five homes for 12 months (although in reality the project is not likely to be used in this way as it will be used to balance the wider National Grid network as needed).
Upcoming public engagement activities
Two public consultation events have been held in connection to this project, one in May 2022 and the second in August 2023. The feedback received during this process has been incorporated into the design of the proposed development where feasible. Further details of the public engagement activities undertaken to date, the feedback received, and how this has been incorporated into the final design can be found in the Pre-application Consultation Report which accompanies the planning application.
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