Frequently Asked Questions
How much electricity will the site produce?
The site will have an installed capacity of 21MWp and generate 22,600 MWh/year
How many homes does that provide electricity for?
22,600 MWh is enough electricity to meet the energy needs of around 6,275 homes.
Will there be battery storage on the site?
How large are the battery storage containers?
Typically these are housed in standard containers, no taller than 3m.
What is the capacity of the battery storage?
The site will have 16MW of battery storage capability helping to balance the grid at times of peak production, releasing electricity back into the grid at times of high demand.
How large is the site?
Who are Regener8 Power?
Regener8 Power Limited is a cleantech company which develops and invests into renewable energy projects globally. Regener8 Power manages projects from origination through to execution ensuring the highest standards are applied early in the development process.
Our team has more than 50 years combined experience in origination, financing and construction of projects within the clean energy sector and has collectively been involved in the successful execution of more than 1 GW of clean energy projects in all the major international markets. These projects have included technologies such as Wind, Solar PV and Energy Storage.
Why has this site been chosen?
There are several reasons that the site at Sedgeford Hall has been selected:
- It is outside sensitive ecological, environmental and landscape designations.
- The site is on largely flat or gently south sloping land.
- The site is categorised as Flood Zone 1 (lowest risk).
- The site is Grade 3 land and so does not represent a significant loss of agricultural land (1 & 2 being the best agricultural land). There is a survey being undertaken to determine subgrade.
- It is in close proximity to a viable point of connection to the grid (133kV substation lies approx 1.2km SW of the Site).
- The landowners are seeking diversify their land use and are willing to host the project.
What grade of land is the site?
Grade 3b. Grades 1 & 2 are best for agricultural land
How will the site be accessed?
The site will be accessed via the public road along the southern boundary of the site.
Why do we need solar power?
The government has set a legally binding target for the UK to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and build back greener from coronavirus. More renewable energy, such as solar, forms a major part of the strategy to get to net zero, and makes the UK energy supply more secure.
What is the net carbon benefit of generating electricity with solar panels, as opposed to fossil fuels?
Displacing fossil fuel generated electricity would save approximately 10,400 tonnes of CO2 per annum. Source: Renewable electricity output and energy conversion calculators, Scottish Govt.
Will this site rely on subsidies to be viable?
No, over recent years changes in efficiencies and economies mean that solar farms are financially viable without any form of Government subsidy. Per MW solar is far more economic to produce than alternatives such as nuclear and coal.
What happens if the sun doesn’t shine?
A PV system does not need bright sunshine to operate, it can also generate electricity on cloudy days, although the greater the intensity of the light the greater the flow of electricity.
How long will it take to build the solar farm?
The construction period will take between 12 to 16 weeks from start to finish.
How much traffic will there be during construction?
The amount of traffic will vary across the construction period. Typically for a solar farm of this scale, we would estimate that there would be 5 – 10 deliveries per day, which equates to roughly one vehicle an hour. Measures which can be taken to reduce the impact of traffic include:
- Restricting the times that lorries deliver to the site.
- Developing, and keeping to, a detailed traffic management plan.
- Taking pictures of all verges leading to the site to ensure that, if any damage is done, they are returned to previous condition.
What will be the visual impact of the farm on the landscape?
The majority of solar farms are designed to be away from main centres of population and, where possible, screened by existing vegetation to minimise visual impact. Placing solar farms on flat, south facing land or gentle slopes also helps to minimise the impact on the landscape. Where required additional screening will be planted. For all solar farm applications, a landscape and visual impact assessment is undertaken to mitigate any visual impact, and the assessment accompanies the planning application.
How much access is required to the site?
Once the farm is up and running, very limited access is required to the site. Typically, routine maintenance visits in a small van will be undertaken once a month the site, and other than that there will be no other traffic associated with the operation.
How large are the panels?
Panels will be mounted no higher than 3 metres above ground level, and raised between 0.6m and 1.2m to provide clearance for plants and other habitats to remain.
Why does there need to be a fence around the solar farm?
The solar farm needs to be fenced to ensure security from vandalism and also to protect large wildlife from entering the site.
How high will the fence be?
The fence is planned to be 2 metres high and will be a post and wire mesh, often referred to as deer fence.
Will there be any noise from the solar farm?
The noise from the inverters is negligible, typically no more than the surrounding background noise.
Is there a risk of fire/explosion from the battery storage?
Battery storage is completely safe so long as they are installed properly, are correctly maintained and of good quality.
Will there be extra traffic generated by the solar farm?
The farm will need very little maintenance and thus generate very little traffic. Small repairs will be made on a monthly basis. There will be an annual test of electrical connection combined with annual maintenance of the inverter, transformer and substation. The stations and inverters will be cleaned every six months and the protection equipment will be tested every 4 years. Maintenance work will be undertaken by a small van or small farm vehicle.
Does the solar farm do any damage to the land?
A solar farm does very little damage to the land as sufficient sunlight and rainfall can get between the panels to maintain the plant life. The water runoff from the panels does not affect the natural drainage patterns. The lack of intense farming and associated chemicals will actually have a beneficial impact on the land.
Can the land still be farmed?
In many situations sheep can still graze the land around the solar panels. Whether this is possible depends on the characteristics of the site and whether the land owner wants to graze the land.
Does Regener8 plan to include any habitat or biodiversity improvements as part of the project (e.g. bee hives, wild flowers, etc)?
Yes – We have conducted a Phase 1 habitat assessment on the site and we are exploring ways on how best to enhance biodiversity in and around the site.
How are the panels fixed to the ground?
Wherever possible we try to avoid the need for a concrete base by attaching modules to an aluminium mounting system, comprising two posts that are in turn bolted to galvanised steel posts that are drilled into the ground to a depth of 1m to 1.5m. Avoiding the need for a concrete base platform reduces the removal costs at the end of the system life, as well as the carbon footprint of the mounting system.
Do solar farms create glare?
To work efficiently solar panels are designed to absorb as much light as possible, and reflect as little as possible. If there is some minimal reflection it will be limited as the sun moves across the sky, and any sunlight loses much of its intensity when reflected. In Europe, many airports have solar farms bordering them, with no negative impact on pilots’ vision.
Which direction will the solar panels face?
The solar panels will be fixed and South-facing.
How long will the solar farm operate?
The solar farm will operate on the site for 40 years. After 40 years the solar farm will be dismantled and the site will return to its original use.
Where does the electricity go?
The electricity generated at the solar farm will be fed into the national grid and distributed across the network.
What happens afterwards?
Once the solar farm ceases operation all the panels and fittings are removed and recycled, and the land is ready to revert back to agricultural purposes.
What community benefits will there be?
On all of our projects Regener8 Power is very keen to engage with local stakeholders to see whether there are projects or initiatives that we can support, especially those based on renewable energy, community energy or combatting fuel poverty.
Why are you using solar power?
Solar power is one of the most popular forms of renewable energy in the world. The benefits of using solar farms to produce electricity include:
- It is quicker to build than other energy sources such as nuclear power stations, meaning that the construction process will only take 12-16 weeks to complete.
- The noise produced from solar farms is much less than from other energy sources.
- It provides electricity without producing carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions.
- It transforms energy from the sun to produce electricity, making use of a continuous energy source for human needs.
- It allows farmland a break from intense farming, which will allow it to replenish its nutrients and have a beneficial impact on the land’s fertility.
- It often allows grazing of animals to continue while the solar farm is operational, although this is dependent on the characteristics of the site.
- It can help to improve local biodiversity, with Reneger8 planning to introduce habitat enhancements as part of their project.
Is renewable energy just a money-making scheme?
No. It is actually cheaper to generate electricity using solar power than it is to use nuclear, gas or fossil fuels. Due to developments in technology, the cost of renewable energy is falling rapidly, making projects more cost-effective. This is only likely to increase as the UK government attempts to reach its aim for carbon emissions to reach net zero by 2050 and invests more in renewable energy.
Why make these changes if climate change is a problem for the future?
Climate change is not a problem for the future, but is affecting us in the present. The world’s leading climate scientists have predicted that we have less than 12 years to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5C or we will be faced with a climate breakdown. Global temperatures are higher now than they have been since records began, with 17 of the 18 warmest years on record having occurred since 2001. This is a direct result of human activity and the way in which levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have increased since the start of the industrial revolution to the point where there is now more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there has been for 800,000 years.
The Government has made a legal commitment to cutting carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 (Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019). Renewable energy, such as solar power, is essential in achieving these aims and generating electricity without producing carbon dioxide to help to reduce our impact on climate change.
What will happen if we do not address climate change?
If we fail to act to reduce carbon emissions, then scientists predict that global temperatures will continue to rise and weather conditions will become more extreme. As a result, sea levels could rise by 0.5 metres, impacting the lives of 1 billion people by 2050 as the risk of flooding is increased by 100%. Additionally, more than a billion people would be exposed to extreme heatwaves every 5 years and hurricanes will become more intense and dangerous.
Will the solar farm limit my electricity usage at night?
While the solar PV system will only generate electricity while there is daylight, the plans for the site include a battery storage facility. This storage system will allow spare power generated during the day to be stored on the site and fed into the national grid at any time of day.
Solar energy is too new, should we not wait until the technology has developed?
The first solar panel was invented more than 100 years ago and has been used commercially since the 1970s, in which time the technology has developed massively. As the use of solar panels has spread more widely, the technology has advanced and the cost has dropped. Since 2010, the cost of installing solar panels has fallen by more than 75% and continues to drop as more investment is placed in renewable energy.
Is solar energy efficient?
The efficiency of solar panels has increased significantly in recent years as technology has continued to advance exponentially. Most solar panels now produce about 20-25% efficiency and are set to improve even further in coming years.
Is there not already enough solar power in the UK?
Solar farms take up proportionately little land in the UK. The UK has more than 59 million acres of land, of which 45 million acres are used for agricultural purposes and 11 million acres is in arable production. To produce 10 GW of solar power, enough to provide for 3 million homes, would only take 60,000 acres or 0.1% of UK land area. To put this in perspective, it is estimated that 660,000 acres of land, or more than 1%, is used for golf courses in the UK.