December 1, 2015 | Penny Hill News
Plans for a new solar energy project on the site of a South Yorkshire wind farm have won the unanimous backing of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s planning committee.
Renewable energy firm Banks Renewables has applied to install a 5MW solar photo voltaic (PV) scheme in the South East corner of its Penny Hill wind farm site, which sits to the South East of Rotherham and west of the junction of the M1 and M18.
The location of the planned solar scheme is on the part of the site that is the furthest away from the village of Ulley, and its layout will mean that the scheme would not be visible from most of that village or from the nearby village of Brampton.
The proposed location was also assessed as being the most ecologically suitable part of the Penny Hill site for such a scheme, and it would be managed in such a way as to encourage greater biodiversity, as well as support new and enhanced habitats for local flora and fauna.
Banks has designed the project to allow for its existing grid connection on the Penny Hill site to be used for the new scheme, and is also looking at using the existing access tracks to further minimise any impact on the local community.
The Penny Hill community benefits fund is ring-fenced for use within the parishes of Aston, Thurcroft, Treeton, Ulley and Whiston, and already has seen grants totalling over £50,000 made in support of organisations including The Friends of Ulley Country Park, Swallownest Bowling Club, The Maelstrom Explorer Scouts, Ulley Sailing Club and The Ulley Millennium Trust.
Lewis Stokes, development relations coordinator at Banks Renewables, says: “We’ve had a great deal of local support for our Penny Hill solar photo voltaic scheme proposals, and are very pleased that Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s planning committee has been minded to give them it’s in unanimous backing to them as well.
“The existing community benefits fund linked to the Penny Hill wind farm has already enabled us to help several local groups deliver a range of community and environmental improvements.
“The solar energy scheme would also support greater biodiversity and the creation of enhanced habitats at the Penny Hill site, as well as increasing the amount of clean, green energy that we produce there.
“We’re grateful to all the local people who backed our plans for this scheme, and will keep everyone informed when we have further progress to report with this project.”
For more information on the Penny Hill solar energy project, please click here