Proposed Kent energy scheme set to become first solar farm to seek NSIP approval

Plans have been unveiled this week for a solar farm which is set to become the first such scheme to be determined through the nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIP) regime.

Solar power: Kent scheme to seek NSIP approval
Solar power: Kent scheme to seek NSIP approval

The plans for Cleve Hill Solar Park in Kent have been launched by operators Hive Energy and Wirsol Energy, who say the project could power around 110,000 homes a year.

The proposed solar farm would be sited on a 360 hectare site in Graveney, between Faversham and Whitstable, and could have a generating capacity of more than 350MW.

Under the Planning Act 2008, energy schemes with a capacity of more than 50MW must be consented through the NSIP process.

Cleve Hill is therefore set to be the first solar scheme to require a development consent order (DCO) under the regime, and will be submitted to the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy for approval.

The scheme promoters have published a statement of community consultation on the proposals, which says they will be looking for feedback on issues including the short-term and long-term operational impacts of the proposal as well as the benefits of the scheme.

The first phase of community consultation will start later this month and submission of the DCO is scheduled for later in 2018.

"The Cleve Hill Solar Park is a pioneering scheme that aims to optimise the technological developments in solar energy," said Hugh Brennan, managing director of Hive Energy.

"Our ambition is to deliver the first non-subsidised renewables project of this scale, delivering low cost, clean, home-grown energy to power UK households."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Join the conversation with PlanningResource on social media

Follow Us:
Planning Jobs