Site investigation work getting under way on site of new Leeds solar energy park

October 15, 2021 | Barnsdale Solar News

Pictured above: Lewis Stokes, community relations manager, Banks Group

Work to support the development of a new solar energy project to the east of Leeds is set to get under way.

Lewis Stokes: “Our Barnsdale proposals won substantial support from both local residents and the planning authority, and we’re very pleased to be moving into the next stage of their realisation.”

Banks Renewables won unanimous approval from Leeds City Council’s planning committee earlier this year for its new Barnsdale solar energy park scheme, which will be able to generate enough electricity to meet the annual requirements of up to 12,000 family homes.

Since then, Banks has been working on the details of its development plan for the site, which lies between Kippax and Allerton Bywater, and is now set to undertake three weeks of site investigation work from Monday (11 October) to gather further geological and environmental data.

Pictured above: Two of the AEG (Allied Exploration and Geotechnics) engineering team starting work on site

Equipment including drilling rigs and excavators will be working their way across the site, with investigations set to be complete by the end of the month.

Pictured above: An AEG (Allied Exploration and Geotechnics) engineer prepares the drilling rig to commence its investigation on site

Banks will use the data it gathers to finalise its plans for the scheme, with construction works expected to begin in spring next year.

Barnsdale will include solar panels covering an area of around 50 hectares of south-facing land and will link directly into the Ledston Primary electricity sub-station, which sits to the south east of the site along Barnsdale Road.

Its detailed ecology and biodiversity strategy will see the biggest ever increase in biodiversity for any project within Leeds, and includes extensive wildflower meadows, wetland habitat, native trees, scrub and hedgerow planting.

As part of Banks Renewables’ policy of delivering tangible benefits to the local communities in which its operations are based, over £800,000 of the revenues generated by Barnsdale will be directed into a fund that will provide grants to support local community groups and voluntary organisations over its lifetime.

The family-owned firm is already one of the leading independent owner/operators in the UK’s onshore wind sector and currently operates ten wind farms with an installed capacity of 224MW, including the Hook Moor wind farm near Leeds and three others in Yorkshire.

Lewis Stokes: “[Barnsdale] will further extend the contribution we are making in Yorkshire to decarbonise electricity generation and accelerate the UK’s journey towards Net Zero.”

Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, adds: “Our Barnsdale proposals won substantial support from both local residents and planning authorities, and we’re very pleased to be moving into the next stage of their realisation.

“We’ve long been part of the drive to generate as much of the electricity that we all use in our homes, schools and workplaces as possible from renewable means, and will further extend the contribution we are making in Yorkshire to decarbonise electricity generation and accelerate the UK’s journey towards Net Zero.

“Barnsdale will sit in the only site in Leeds suitable for this size and scale of solar energy development, and we’re excited to be working toward delivering the wide range of environmental, ecological and social benefits that will be realised through its development for both local communities and the wider region.”

For further information on the Barnsdale solar energy park, please visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/barnsdalesolar

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