Solar farm plans under consideration by Cynon Valley Council

PLANS for a solar farm in the Cynon Valley are set to be considered by councillors.

The application for Bryngolwg Farm on Rhigos Road in Hirwaun is due to go before the council’s planning and development committee on Thursday, November 3.

The development would be built over four fields to the south of the farmhouse.

With a total area of about 12 hectares, it would have a capacity to generate 7 megawatts with each field accommodating between 16 and 23 rows of southward-facing photovoltaic (PV) panels

The plans, put forward by Bryngwolg [CORR] Solar Ltd and Enviromena, also include infrastructure, security fencing, access, landscaping and continued
agriculture.

The scheme will be in operation for 40 years, plus one extra year each for
construction and decommissioning.

There would be no site-based staff during the operational phase, other than for inspections and maintenance.

The lowest edge of the panels would be raised above the ground at about 0.6m to enable sheep to continue grazing around the frames and also to alleviate any risk to sensitive electrical equipment.

String inverters would be attached to the underside of the panels to convert the direct current electricity output into usable alternating current power for the electricity distribution network.

Two transformers will be installed at the site, which would step up the low voltage electricity produced to high voltage for efficient transportation around the site and to the distribution connection point.

A substation and switchgear enclosure would be installed near to the access to the field.

All cabling would be ducted underground at a depth of around one metre. The site would be enclosed by a two-metre fence with wooden posts.

Two sets of gates for vehicles would provide access to the two areas, one being to the northern boundary, serving fields one and two, and another being being to the eastern boundary, serving fields three and four.

All existing hedges and vegetation will be kept. CCTV cameras would be installed on the fence. No external lighting will be needed other than temporarily during construction.

One letter was received during the public consultation, which said a condition should be attached to any planning consent for this development to save electricity costs for residents and charitable buildings in the village of Rhigos.

It said the applicant should be made to pay for the supply, installation and maintenance for solar panels to the roof of the school, Rhigos Community Centre, Rhigos Community Sports Hall and Rhigos Rugby Club, adding the project would then support the community in the immediate vicinity.

In recommending approval, council officers said in the planning report: “The principle of the development is considered to be acceptable, being a
medium-scale solar farm development that would contribute to the Welsh
Government’s commitment to optimising renewable energy generation.

“Furthermore, it is considered that the proposed development can reasonably be accommodated within the landscape without significant harm to the existing landscape character of the area and visual amenity.

“In addition, no objections have been raised by statutory consultees with respect to the potential impacts upon either the amenity of nearby residential properties, highway safety or ecology.

“The application is therefore considered to comply with the relevant policies of the Rhondda Cynon Taf Local Development Plan.

 

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