Aura Power has submitted a planning application for a solar farm proposal in West Cornwall, southwest of the village of Barripper. The project has been named Copper Bottom in reference to the area’s historic copper mining activity.
Copper Bottom Solar Farm will be built without subsidy and would generate enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of around 8000 homes, saving around 19,700 tonnes of carbon entering the atmosphere each year.
Cornwall Council was one of the fist local authorities to declare a climate emergency and has a commendable target to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Solar farms not only increase the supply of clean power but as solar is the lowest cost form of new energy generation it will also help to reduce national power prices.
It offers a number of benefits locally with a biodiversity net gain of 67% and a community benefit fund of £400 per MW per year (index-linked), for the lifetime of the solar farm. This could amount to over £12,000 a year for 35 years or £420,000 in total, used locally for social and environmental projects. We are also offering educational sessions with local schools and site visits to the solar farm.
As a local business, our solar farm will be contributing over £80,000 in business rates to Cornwall Council every year.
5th August 2022 - We have now submitted the planning application to Cornwall Council. You can view and comment on the planning application on the Council's planning portal by clicking here
Public Consultation. We held two public consultation events, online and in-person, to understand local feedback.
Design Finalised and Planning App Submitted. We will consider all community feedback from the Public Consultation before finalising the design, ready for submission.
Planning Decision. Cornwall Council will consider our plans and consult with statutory consultees and local residents.
Construction (If approved). If planning permission is granted we will begin construction no earlier than Spring/Summer 2023.
Estimated figure is calculated using BEIS ‘Sub-national electricity consumption statistics 2019’ (latest publish Dec 2020) which reports an average domestic consumption per Cornwall Household
Estimated figure calculated using the UK Government Gas Conversion Factor, BEIS, July 2021 of 0.2133 Tonnes Carbon/MWh. NV Calculations based on the PV Syst generation report for the proposed layout
Estimated figure calculated using an average mileage of 9435 miles per year (MOT data from RAC Foundation) and an average power consumption of 2,887 kWh (Electric Vehicle Database 2021)
We held an online and in-person public consultation at the end of last year. You can view the exhibition boards by clicking in the Useful Links box.
Around 27 residents attended as well as the Ward Councillors and members from both Parish Councils.
Following a feedback survey, 67% people said they thought it was a good location for a solar farm.
Since listening to the feedback we have refined our design and increased our community benefit fund. The design amends included moving the substation further into the development and adding more trees and hedgerows to further screen the solar farm from view.
Consultation is an ongoing process and Aura Power is always open to speaking to residents and councillors about their concerns and questions.
The site is 2km southwest of Camborne between the villages of Barripper and Carnhell Green. View the location on Google Maps by clicking here. It is well screened by existing vegetation and with further proposed tree and hedgerow planting would have a limited visual impact.
The total application area is approximately 49 ha, of which the panels and ancillary equipment will over-sail 22 ha. As the solar panels are mounted on frames above the ground the actual footprint will penetrate less than 2% of the ground. The land is relatively flat and comprises a series of regular fields currently used for a mix of arable and grazing. Sheep grazing can continue once the solar farm is in place. The field boundaries consist of mainly mature hedgerows and trees which provide good natural screening.
There is one bridleway that runs through the western part of the site, along an existing lane with hedgerows either side. This will be retained. There are no other public rights of way that cross the site.
It will improve the local natural environment, offering an overall net gain in biodiversity of +66% through the planting of new trees, hedgerows and species rich grassland with wildflowers.
Access to the site is proposed via three entrances from the Penhale Road, with a traffic controller at the entrance during construction. Construction is expected to take around 4 months. Deliveries will be restricted, wherever possible, to off-peak weekdays (9 am to 3 pm) to reduce impacts on local road users. Maintenance vehicles to the site once the solar farm is operational will be minimal.
This site has been carefully selected due to:
• The site is already relatively well screened with the ability to plant additional trees and hedgerows
• No environmental or landscape designations on site
• Secure grid connection into the electricity network
• Opportunities to boost biodiversity with species rich wildflower and native tree and hedgerow planting
• Excellent levels of solar irradiation in this part of the country
Solar Energy UK have published a very helpful fact sheet which addresses many of the misconceptions of solar farms including concerns regarding food security, and the disposal of panels after the solar farm has been decommissioned. This is available to view by clicking here.
Your feedback is very important to us. Please leave a comment and one of our project team will get back to you as soon as possible.