BayWa r.e., in partnership with energy development company specialising in solar farms, Grüne Energien Solar GmbH, has received planning permission for the development of the Rag Lane Solar Farm project near Bristol, UK.
Construction of the 49.9 MW solar project in South Gloucestershire is planned to commence at the beginning of 2023, with grid connection expected in the second half of 2023. When complete, Rag Lane will deliver approximately 52 GWh/year of clean renewable electricity for distribution to the national grid, the equivalent to the annual electrical needs of approximately 15,000 family homes.
BayWa r.e. is committed to ensuring maximum benefit to the local community and environment in the development of Rag Lane. As part of the construction of the project, BayWa r.e. will provide biodiversity enhancements to the local area including the reinforcement and planting of 1.7 km of new hedgerows as a haven for wildlife, as well as ecological connectivity and improvements to the public footpath that runs across the site. The company also anticipates that at least 20 local jobs will be created through the construction phase, with 2-3 long term jobs through the operational life of the project.
John Milligan, Managing Director of BayWa r.e. UK Limited, commented: “If we are to meet the UK’s legally binding target to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, we need to start taking decisive action. The implementation of renewable energy projects is key to this and with the planning committee voting unanimously to grant consent for Rag Lane Solar Farm, we are motivated by the local commitment to contributing actively to meet these goals.”
“Receiving planning permission for the construction of the project is also a huge milestone for BayWa r.e. and marks the first of our greenfield sites in the UK to be granted consent. It is a credit to the hard work of the whole team, and we look forward to continuing these efforts as construction gets underway.”
The project is expected to increase South Gloucestershire Council’s renewable energy generating capacity by almost 30 %. BayWa r.e. has a number of similar projects undergoing the planning permission process in the coming months and hopes to build on the success seen with Rag Lane.