United Kingdom

Plans unveiled for Hett Moor solar project proposal

Lightsource bp, a global leader in the financing, development and management of solar energy projects, is resubmitting a proposal for a solar farm at Hett Moor Farm, Thinford Lane, Thinford, Spennymoor, Durham DH6 5JZ. The company is inviting residents from the surrounding area to attend a community information event on 6th June, where further information will be made available on the proposals.

The community information event will be held in Hett Village Hall and residents are invited to drop in at any time between 4pm – 6pm. The Lightsource bp team will be on hand to discuss the planning proposal and gather feedback from the local community.

The project was originally submitted in 2021, and planning permission was refused by Durham Planning Committee in June 2022. Lightsource bp has since taken into account the comments received on the first application and have amended the proposals for resubmission. As part of the changes, the panels situated in the western corner have been removed, and further planting has been introduced throughout the site to filter and break up views of the solar panels.

The Hett Moor site, chosen after careful consideration, is an ideal location for a solar project, and in the light of the UK Government’s reaffirmed commitments to Net Zero and Energy Security, this proposed solar farm would be an important contribution towards County Durham’s ambition to be a Carbon Neutral county as soon as possible.

The proposed 49.9MWac solar project will provide enough clean renewable energy to 16,300 homes, saving 20,500 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, the equivalent of taking 4,400 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.

As well as generating clean energy, Lightsource bp solar projects 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. As part of this initiative, our planting, seeding and habitat creation plans will focus on native species. Lightsource bp is also eager to hear from wildlife enthusiasts and local schools who may be interested in playing a role in the ongoing monitoring of wildlife on the site, as part of the company’s drive to contribute positively to all the communities it serves.

The proposed layout for the solar project at Hett Moor 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 project as open grassland, ideal for grazing livestock, while the panels provide shade, shelter and protection for sheep, geese or chickens.

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

Katy McGuinness, Head of Environmental Planning UK & Ireland, 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. We want to ensure that local communities in and around the proposed location have all the information they need about this project. We’re holding this information event to speak to elected representatives, local businesses and residents of the local community, and to gather feedback. This event is also a great way for the community to ask any questions they may have about the project or solar energy in general.”

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 ‘Hett Moor’.

Read more about our Hett Moor solar project

We’ve put together a summary of our project proposal for the Hett Moor solar project, as well as a collection of resources on solar in general.

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