Aura Power is working on a solar farm proposal between Murton and South Hetton, with a capacity of up to 49.9MW (Megawatts). The solar farm will be built without subsidy and would generate enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of over 17,000 homes, saving around 15,203 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year.
County Durham has set a target to become carbon neutral by 2050 and this solar farm will help meet this target. Hawthorn Pit Solar Farm will not only increase the supply of clean power, as solar is the lowest cost form of new energy generation it will also help to reduce national power prices.
The scheme includes a number of landscaping proposals to enhance the natural environment, offering a biodiversity net gain of over 200%.
As a local business, our solar farm will be contributing over £80,000 in business rates to County Durham Council every year.
We are also offering a Community Benefit Fund of £400 per MW per year (index-linked), for the lifetime of the solar farm. This could amount to £20,000 a year for 35 years totalling £700,000 in total, used locally for social and environmental projects. A proportion would be set aside for educational sessions with local schools and site visits to the solar farm.
The application was heard at Durham Council's Planning Committee in June 2021. Councillors voted to refuse the application. We are now appealing this decision.
It should be noted that National Grid is currently consulting on plans for a converter station and substation nearby at Hawthorn Pit. This will help increase the distribution of green electricity and more information on their plans can be found by clicking here. These plans are separate to Aura Power’s proposed solar farm and there is no connection between us.
Stated figure is calculated using BEIS ‘Sub-national electricity consumption statistics 2019’ (latest publish Dec 2020) which reports an average domestic consumption per County Durham Household of 3168 kwh
Calculated using the UK Government Gas Conversion Factor, BEIS, 2020 of 0.2773 Tonnes Carbon/MWh. NV Calculations based on the PV Syst generation report for the proposed layout
Calculated using an average mileage of 15,000 km per year and an average power consumption of 15kWh
We continue to welcome discussions with local residents regarding any concerns they may have.
You can view the webinar presented on Tuesday 8th June by clicking here.
We have undertaken several environmental and visual surveys to help inform our design. Our proposal offers a number of ecological and local benefits as well as continued agricultural use, with sheep being able to graze beneath the panels.
We always aim to design our solar farms appropriately and as sensitively as possible to the surroundings whilst maximising the generation of clean energy.
The design includes a number of landscaping proposals including new tree and hedgerow planting to enhance the natural environment and make it a better place for wildlife, offering a biodiversity net gain of over 200%.
Revisions to the site following consulting with the local community can be seen in the image below.
This site has been selected for a number of reasons which include:
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.