Exciting project begins community consultation
Lymm Community Energy (LCE) has secured funding from the Rural Community Energy Fund to assess the feasibility of constructing and operating a 5MW solar farm in partnership with the land owner of Wildersmoor Hall Farm on Whiteleggs Lane, Lymm.
Public Consultation Overview
Local support and consultation are an important component of the feasibility study report. The public consultation for this stage runs until 31 July 2021 and engagement with the local community is being conducted via the following routes:
- Information stand at the LEAF environmental event on 26 June 2021 at Lymm Hub (Lymm Library, Sanctuary Hub and Business Centre);
- Consultation survey (link below);
- Online information event 7.30pm, Wednesday 14 July;
- Information display in the entrance of Lymm Library (open Tuesdays and Thursdays);
- Social media coverage;
- Local press coverage. Articles have featured in Lymm Life and Lymm Pages. View recent press below;
- Letters to residents in the vicinity of the proposed site.
Lymm and local contacts are invited to complete a short online survey to share their feedback.
Though we encourage the use of digital methods, if you would prefer to complete a paper copy, please download a copy below.
Public Information Events
LCE recently engaged the services of local company Fichtner Consulting Engineers, who have extensive experience of solar farms in the UK. A technical feasibility study has been completed and concludes that the site is suitable for a solar farm development and that the land available is more than sufficient for the scale of project being considered.
The preliminary energy yield analysis gives an annual plant production of about 5.4 million kWh per year after taking account of losses. This is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of about 1,470 homes and it would save around 1,130 tonnes of CO2e emissions annually using current conversion factors.
The development would follow agricultural good practice guidelines for solar farms, including using the land for grazing and encouraging biodiversity. The potential to supply local residents, businesses and community facilities with electricity from the solar farm is also being investigated during the feasibility study together with the scope for battery storage.
The proposed solar farm meets all our objectives as a Community Benefit Society and our Community Benefit Fund would use financial surpluses from the solar farm to support local community organisations and projects.
Supporting information about the solar farm proposal
The following images explain more about Lymm Community Energy and their proposal for a community solar farm site in Lymm. View the images or scroll down to download the information pack.
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Questions and Answers
Q: Are you purchasing / acquiring the land for commercial or profitable benefit?
A: No, the project is pursued in partnership with the landowner, who would continue to own the land and not a commercial development. We plan to lease the land from the owner for the life of the solar farm. We wish to make good use of existing and unused farmland in an environmentally responsible way. Any surplus funds will pass into our Community Benefit Fund to be directed into local projects and causes.
Q: Would the development be on green belt land and what are the implications of this?
A: Yes, but there are precedents for solar farms being allowed on green belt land on the grounds that they would make significant contributions to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and tackling climate change. In addition, the project would include ecological enhancements to the land and the encouragement of biodiversity.
Q: Is the proposed solar farm a permanent installation?
A: No, the solar farm is expected to be operational for 30 to 35 years and, at the end of its life, it will be decommissioned and the land will be returned to its former condition.
Got a question?
We’d like to answer as many questions as possible. You can either add these when completing the survey or you can use the feedback pop up box which is at the foot of this page. Any questions you have about this project will be responded to and be included in a future Q&A section.