Frequently Asked Questions

Why solar?

Solar energy is a natural and inexhaustible source of clean renewable energy with a low environmental impact. The advantages of solar farms over other forms of energy generation are well-established and include clean, green electricity generation with no harmful emissions, noise-free electricity generation and low maintenance requirements.

The site is not subject to any national or local planning designations or protections which would preclude this type of development. It is therefore considered the type of site which should accommodate renewable energy development and we consider it the most suitable in Ryedale.

Why battery energy storage?

Battery energy storage is the key to unlocking the potential of other renewable technologies including solar. Also low-impact, it allows us to store electricity until it is needed by the Grid.

Do these technologies make any noise and are they safe?

Solar panels have no moving parts, make no noise and create no harmful emissions. The inverters produce a slight hum, but this is not audible past the property boundaries.

Lithium-ion batteries like those that we would install make virtually no noise and also create no harmful emissions. They are proven on a global scale and there are already in operation at sites across the UK.

Both technologies are extremely safe and reliable. They do not interfere with equipment such as mobile phones, heart monitors, pacemakers, hearing aids or TV reception.

What would the development look like?

Solar farms typically consist of rows of solar panels up to 1m off the ground, fixed at an angle to maximise exposure to the sun. Spacing requirements mean the solar panels only take up around one third of the solar farm site, with most of the land being retained as open land, free from intensive farming.

Solar panels are typically mounted on steel frames, which are driven or screwed into the ground. As a result, solar farms involve very low volumes of earthworks and have very little physical impact on the land where they are located. Solar farms can be easily screened from view by setting them back from boundaries and by appropriate screen planting.

The batteries would be housed in containers, installed on concrete foundations and surrounded by enclosed fencing to maintain security. This would form less than 1% of the total site.

These measures also create opportunities for habitat and bio-diversity enhancements. Our proposals seek to retain existing trees and hedgerows around the site. In addition, comprehensive landscaping will be included as part of the planned development to ensure that there is minimal visual impact from houses and
public vantage points.

Are solar farms dangerous to wildlife?

No, the opposite. Solar farms have been proven to encourage wildlife to flourish during the rejuvenation period of the land.

What criteria do you apply to site selection?

We need land close to the national grid or a local distribution network connection point. The further away from the connection point a solar farm is located, the less efficient it becomes due to transmission losses.

Once we have identified a grid injection point, we carry out a detailed analysis of the surrounding land to identify sites that have the lowest possible impact on built and cultural heritage, ecology and the landscape.

Are solar farms permanent?

No. The life of a solar farm can depend on the duration of the resource consent issued by a council. But a council can also impose a condition requiring the solar farm to be dismantled if it is no longer functional.

A solar farm can be dismantled as quickly and as easily as it was constructed and the materials are almost entirely recyclable (with core components comprising glass, silicon, aluminium and steel).

Would there be increased traffic to the neighbourhood near a solar farm?

During the construction phase, there is a small increase in the number of vehicles delivering materials to the site. There will be a traffic management plan to prevent damage and minimise disruption. Once the site is built, traffic will cease almost entirely.

Are there any increased flood risks?

No. Only approximately 0.5% of the solar farm will be in direct contact with the ground, and the entire footprint of the solar panels will only cover around one third of the site. The land underneath the panels will still allow the overland flow of water and not affect the ability of water to soak into the ground.

We will be undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment as part of our application, which will identify any special measures required to mitigate the impact.

Will solar farms cause any glint or glare?

Solar panels are designed to absorb light and not to reflect it. They pose little risk of glint or glare, and solar panels have been installed on many airport runways around the world. There are no visible lights on a solar farm.

Who pays for it?

We do, there is no subsidy from the Government.

How long will it take to build?

Construction is a very quick process. As a rough guide, this development can be built in under six months, with very light duty construction that has little local impact.

What are the timings?

We plan to submit our planning application in July 2021. The Council would have a period of 13 weeks to consider the application after it is registered.