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Town solar farm ‘will help UK’s green economic recovery’ claims energy giant

PUBLISHED: 16:37 21 October 2020 | UPDATED: 22:31 23 October 2020

EDF Renewables and Enso Energy are looking at possible solar farms in fields north west of Ipswich  Picture:GOOGLEMAPS/KATE WOLSTENHOLME

EDF Renewables and Enso Energy are looking at possible solar farms in fields north west of Ipswich Picture:GOOGLEMAPS/KATE WOLSTENHOLME

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French energy giant EDF’s renewables arm is planning to build a giant solar farm over about half of a 65ha site north west of Ipswich.

Tye Lane, Bramford, where EDF Renewables is hoping to build one of its first solar farms in the UK  Picture: GOOGLEMAPSTye Lane, Bramford, where EDF Renewables is hoping to build one of its first solar farms in the UK Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

EDF Renewables (EDF R) – which describes the farmland site off Tye Lane, near Bramford, as “excellent” for a solar farm – says the site would be capable of generating enough low carbon energy to power 9,690 homes.

“A number of ecological and other feasibility surveys have been carried out and the company is now consulting with local people about the proposal ahead of submitting a planning application before the end of this year,” it said.

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A separate company – Enso Energy – is also planning to build a 49.9MW solar farm and battery storage facility on land south of Church Farm, Somersham, Ipswich, which it says could power up to 13,000 homes. Neither company’s formal plans have yet been submitted to the local authority.

EDF Renewables operates 34 onshore and two offshore wind farms in the UK, as well as one of the largest battery storage units in Europe at West Burton in Nottinghamshire.

It says if planning permission is granted, a community fund of up to £10,000 will be paid annually – depending on the final size of the scheme – for the 35-year lifetime of the project.

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Mark Vyvyan-Robinson, EDF Renewables director of solar and onshore wind development, said: “This is an excellent site for a solar farm, which is suitably sunny and with a nearby grid connection.

“EDF Renewables is an experienced renewables developer and Tye Lane is one of the first of a number of solar projects we have planned in the UK. This project will enable us to contribute to the UK’s green economic recovery from Covid-19 and help the country reach its net zero targets.”

The solar panels would sit 3-4m above the ground with the site entrance at Tye Lane, off the B1113 and connect to Bramford substation, about 5km away.

EDF R says it is consulting the public over its proposals with a view to submitting a planning a planning application to Mid Suffolk District Council before the end of the year.

The public is invited to visit EDF R’s Tye Lane website for further information, to register for the live online events and to provide feedback. Its consultation closes on November 27.

EDF Renewables is holding virtual ‘village hall’ meetings to show the plans on Wednesday, November 4, and Wednesday, November 11, at 6.30pm.

For details of upcoming meetings, visit Bramford Parish Council website here


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