A 40-acre solar farm in Cardiff has been recommended for approval and the plans are now moving forward. Earmarked for the old landfill site at Lamby Way, Rumney, the facility would generate 7.5 megawatts of green electricity and have a lifespan of 35 years.
A business case for the scheme was backed by Cardiff Council’s cabinet last year and the local authority’s proposal has now received the support of planning officers. Last year, the council said it had been working with an organisation located close to the site which had agreed, in principle, to use 4.5 MW of from the solar farm over 20 years, with the remaining 3.5 MW of electricity being sold to the National Grid.
More than 30,000 solar panels arranged in rows are included in the installation, as well as a security fence, 2.2 metres in height, which will be erected around the site and 39 camera poles, approximately three-to-four metres high, which will be put in place, each pole supporting a CCTV camera for surveillance.
According to a report to be scrutinised by councillors, the development is considered to comply with local and national planning policies, which advise local authorities to “facilitate all forms of renewable and low carbon energy development” and “give significant weight to the Welsh Government’s targets to increase renewable and low carbon energy generation”,
In addition, the council’s ecologist has looked into the impacts this project could have upon the neighbouring nature conservation designations and the ecologist is satisfied that there will be no adverse effect upon the integrity of the Severn Estuary sites, nor will there be any harmful impact upon the Severn Estuary SSSI or wildlife interests.
Meanwhile, Natural Resource Wales (NRW) is said to currently take a different view and hold “significant concerns” regarding the potential for an adverse effect from the proposed development on the integrity of the Severn Estuary’s status as a designated special area of conservation and special protection area.
A revised assessment is being prepared to address NRW’s current concerns and the body’s final comments will be reported to committee.