Planning green light for solar and battery energy park

Proposals for a new renewable energy generation and storage project in South Yorkshire have won the support of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s planning committee.

Renewable energy firm, Banks Renewables, put forward plans for the new solar and battery energy park at a 116-hectare site to the west of the Todwick Road Industrial Estate in Dinnington.

The Common Farm Solar Energy Park would have an installed capacity of up to 49MW, which is enough to meet the average annual electricity requirements of up to 18,800 family homes and would displace over 11,470 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the electricity supply network each year.

A 50 MW battery storage facility would also link directly into the Thurcroft electricity sub-station around three kilometres to the north of the site.

After members of the council’s planning committee voted in favour of the scheme by eight to one, the planning application will now be referred to the Secretary of State.

Banks Renewables already operates four onshore wind farms across Yorkshire, including the Penny Hill Wind Farm, which is around three miles to the west of the Common Farm site, and is also behind proposals for a new green energy hub at the former Thorpe Marsh Power Station site near Doncaster.

Jamilah Hassan, community relations manager at The Banks Group, said: “Having had a recommendation for approval for our Common Farm Solar Energy Park proposals from Rotherham Council’s expert planning officers,
we’re very pleased that the members of the council’s planning committee have been minded to follow their advice.

“The response we’ve had to this project from local people over the last year has generally been very positive, and there’s been widespread recognition of the environmental, energy security and community benefits that it will bring to the local area.

“Maximising the production and storage of renewable energy from sources within the UK is a crucial part of our nation’s ongoing journey towards its Net Zero targets, especially with the current energy security and cost of living crisis in mind.

“The Common Farm Solar Energy Park would extend the contribution that we’re able to make locally towards reaching these goals while also increasing the tangible benefits that we can deliver to local communities through the benefits package that forms a key part of the overall project.”