United Kingdom

Lightsource bp to unveil plans for new Sheraton solar installation proposal

Lightsource bp, a global leader in the development and management of solar energy projects, will be outlining their proposal to fund, develop and build a 49.9MW solar installation on 238 acres of land at Sheraton Hall Farm, Sheraton, County Durham, TS27 4RD, at an online Q&A session on 4th November. Lightsource bp is inviting residents from the surrounding area to join the session via the internet, where further information will be made available on the proposals.

The team are aware that not everyone has access to the internet, and encourages those who are unable to join the online session to call 0333 200 0755 or write to the Environmental Planning & Sustainability Team, at Lightsource bp, 7th floor 33 Holborn, London, E1CN 2HU.

The community information event will be held online on 4th November 2020, starting from 7.30pm, and interested parties can join via the following link: https://primetime.bluejeans.com/a2m/live-event/efjbuqpc. The Lightsource bp team will show a brief video outlining the proposals for the solar project, and will then take Q&A to answer any queries and gather feedback from the local community.

The proposed solar installation will provide enough clean renewable energy to 16,330 homes, saving 20,558 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, the equivalent of taking 3744 large family cars off the roads. This project is a key facet of Lightsource bp’s mission to rapidly accelerate the transition to a low carbon future.

The proposed layout for the solar installation at Sheraton Hall has been designed in such a way that most of the open grassland on the site will be suitable for grazing small livestock, allowing the land to retain the potential for agricultural use. Lightsource bp is committed to supporting the rural economy and benefitting local communities, and this site has been designed with these priorities in mind. Wide grassy avenues will be left between the rows of solar panels, to reduce shading and optimise the amount of sunlight each row of panels receives. This will leave around 70% of the solar installation as open grassland, ideal for grazing livestock, while the panels provide shade, shelter and protection for sheep, geese or chickens.

As well as generating clean energy and allowing for continued agricultural use, Lightsource bp solar installations are designed so that they also act as a haven for local wildlife. A bespoke Biodiversity Management Plan will be developed in conjunction with the planning application, and this will ensure that the plan enhances the site as much as possible for local wildlife.

The proposed fields have been chosen because they are well-screened by local topography which would limit any surrounding views of the solar installation.

Penny Laurenson, Director of Environmental Planning and Sustainability, Lightsource bp said:

“Solar energy is not only clean and renewable, but it also generates locally-produced electricity. This makes solar an important part of meeting the global rise in energy demand efficiently and more sustainably, which is a core aspect of Lightsource bp’s sustainability mission.

Safety is one of our core values, and in order to keep to the standards of community engagement that we’ve set as a company in the current global situation, we’re replacing our physical community consultation with an online Q&A session where the local community can obtain all necessary information about our proposals and provide feedback. We want to ensure that local communities in and around the proposed location have all the information they need about this project.”

Residents can obtain further information on the project, at any time, by getting in touch with the Lightsource bp team via info@lightsourcebp.com quoting ‘Sheraton Hall’, calling 0333 200 0755 or writing to “Environmental Planning & Sustainability Team, Lightsource bp, 7th Floor, 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HU”.

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