Penpergwm is a proposed new solar farm on lands at Penpergwm, approximately 4km southeast of Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. The installation will have a peak power output of up to 40MW (megawatts), sufficient to produce enough clean, renewable energy to power the equivalent of 11,180 local homes annually. An estimated 18,000 tonnes of CO2 will be saved each year.
The site comprises 11 agricultural fields totalling 42 hectares. Not all of the site area will see panels installed. We have already excluded the more visible areas of the site and avoided locations which are close to existing properties. In addition, we have worked with the landowner to ensure large areas are maintained for cattle grazing which, unlike sheep, cannot graze between the panels.
We selected this site for the following reasons:
The solar farm will have a capacity of up to 40MWp and will be operational for up to 40 years. After this time all of the installation will be removed and the land restored to how it was before, but with improved soil health and biodiversity. The power generated will be exported to the grid via a substation connecting to existing powerlines which run through the site boundary. No new pylons will be necessary to facilitate that connection.
The solar panels will be installed in rows which run east to west through the site. These rows will be tilted towards the south to capture the maximum amount of solar irradiation possible. The total height of the panels will be no more than 2.8m above the ground with a gap of more than 0.8m above the ground at its minimum.
Small electric cabins will be located amongst the panels and these will be accessed by a network of crushed stone track which will run through the site. All of the panels will be surrounded by a deer fencing to protect the equipment from large animals entering the site. CCTV cameras will be located periodically around the site perimeter for security.
The development will also involve additional landscaping including hedgerow planting and improved biodiversity management. The site is currently pasture and arable land with low ecological value, however with the implementation of our proposed Green Infrastructure Plan, the site will be significantly enhanced for biodiversity by creating a range of new habitats, offering food and shelter to wildlife. This includes a large area of wildflower meadow that will be open for public access with linkages to the existing footpath network.
The Application Site will be accessed via an improved farm access situated on the southern boundary. Traffic will approach the site entrance from the south using a local road from Penpergwm for approximately 800m. Traffic will be routed to Penpergwm from the north via the B4598. This road connects to the strategic road network south of Abergavenny at the A40 / A465 interchange.
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