Council 100 miles away to take control of massive solar farm in Doncaster

A council nearly 100 miles away is set to take control of a massive Doncaster solar farm – but this is ‘good news’ for the borough’, say DMBC bosses.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 29th July 2022, 1:03 pm

Warrington Council is set to pay £63.5 million for the site at Partridge Hill Farm near Doncaster Sheffield Airport with it recently approved at a meeting earlier this month.

DMBC bosses said this would boost the areas green energy capability where Doncaster already ranks 9th in the country for the number of solar panels.

The development includes the construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of a ground-mounted solar farm with an export capacity of up to 49.9 megawatts (MW) for distribution to the National Grid.

Warrington Council will pay £63.5 million for the site.

It would include solar photovoltaic panels, underground cabling and battery storage housed in shipping containers or similar.

The facility would operate for a temporary time period of about 40 years.

A document submitted to DMBC at the time said the proposed solar farm would “make an important contribution to achieving legally binding national targets to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and local climate targets by 2040.

Dan Swaine, director of economy and environment at DMBC, said: “This is good news for Doncaster. This development was given planning permission in February 2021 and has since been waiting for a worthy investor.

“Doncaster is a key contributor to renewable energy generation in the region and is placed 9th of all 406 UK Local Authorities for the number of solar PV installations, with 7,311 homes/buildings utilising them.

“The recently approved solar farm is one of the largest in the north of England and we have the highest level of installed wind energy generation in South Yorkshire, with 61MW, greater than the combined wind energy generation across the rest of South Yorkshire.

“The council is interested in purchasing 100 per cent of its electricity from locally generated renewables, so this development by Warrington Council could be of greater value to us.”

****

CORRECTION

A previous article mentioned a solar project at Warren Farm in Dunsville. DMBC mentioned this was the site that has been trying to secure an investor, not Partridge Hill.

Enso Energy, the operators of Warren Farm, have been in touch to say that Warrington Council has not approached them to buy the site. We are happy to clarify the record.