Aura Power is developing a solar farm on land to the west of Penkridge in South Staffordshire. We are now seeking feedback from the local community before we submit a planning application.
If approved, Preston Hill Solar Farm will be built without subsidy and would generate enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of around 14000 homes, saving around 12,400 tonnes of carbon entering the atmosphere each year.
The UK has a legally binding target to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050 as well as completely decarbonising the UK’s power supplies by 2035. Staffordshire County Council has declared a Climate Emergency in order to achieve this.
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 net gains in biodiveristy and a community benefit fund of £20,000 a year for the lifetime of the solar farm amounting to £700,000 in total. The fund is offered to support local 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 £100,000 in business rates to South Staffordshire Council every year as well as providing green jobs.
21st February 2023 - The planning application has been submitted and is now available to view on the Council's planning portal by clicking here.
Pre-planning community consultations
We will consider all community feedback to shape the solar farm's final design before submitting a planning application
Planning application to South Staffordshire Council
The Council will undertake their own consultation with the local community and statutory consultees to determine the application
If approved, construction is expected to start and due to take around 6 months. Community members will be notified in advance of confirmed dates
equivalent number of homes powered every year
Estimated figure is calculated using BEIS ‘Sub-national electricity consumption statistics 2020’ which reports an average domestic consumption per South Staffs Household
tonnes of CO2 saved every year
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
equivalent number of electric cars powered every year
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)
Jobs created during construction and local suppliers prioritised
Over £100,000 a year in business rates to South Staffordshire Council
£20,000 a year Community Benefit Fund
We held an online webinar an in-person exhibition in Penkridge at the end of November 2022, to present our initial plans and understand feedback from the local community. Thank you to everyone who attended. We have now submitted a planning application which has accounted for the feedback received.
You can view the exhibition boards presented in the Useful Links box.
If you have any queries or concerns about the project please do not hesitate to get in touch:
0117 214 1971
The Council will undertake their own consultation and local residents will be invited to provide their comments on the scheme.
Site Location and Proposal so Far...
• Indicative initial site area of approximately 61ha
• Includes species rich wildflowers, native tree planting designed for screening and to enhance biodiversity with a biodiversity net gain calculation of +96% for habitats, +87% for hedgerows and 100% for rivers.
• Environmental studies undertaken: landscape, heritage, ecology, noise and hydrology
• Continued agricultural use with sheep grazing amongst the panels
View the location on Google Maps by clicking here.
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.
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
A detailed layout plan and visualisations will be presented at the consultation events and uploaded to this page following the events.
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.