June 8, 2024

West Burton Solar Project Passes Examination Phase

Island Green Power's West Burton Solar Project in the East Midlands, expected to power over 140,000 homes, has advanced in its development consent process with support from Lanpro's planning and environmental expertise.

The Examination Stage

The West Burton Solar Project by Island Green Power has progressed to the next stage in achieving development consent, aided by Lanpro's planning, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and environmental expertise. This major solar project in the East Midlands is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 140,000 homes.

According to Solar Power Portal, the Planning Inspectorate has concluded its examination of the West Burton Solar Project and will submit its recommendation to the secretary of state in early August, allowing three months for a decision.

In April of last year, the Planning Inspectorate, which manages national infrastructure planning applications in England, accepted the West Burton Solar Project application for examination on behalf of the Secretary of State.

Island Green Power, the project's developer, submitted its Development Consent Order (DCO) application to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) in March. PINS confirmed that the application can proceed to the examination phase, a critical step in the approval process for nationally significant infrastructure projects.

“We want to thank everyone who helped us reach this milestone. Developing and submitting two applications concurrently has required a strong, collaborative effort. The feedback we've gotten from communities and stakeholders has helped us improve our plans for the West Burton Solar Project,” West Burton Solar Project spokesperson said.

480 MW Solar Capacity

This project involves solar and energy storage across several land parcels in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, located roughly 7.4 km south and up to 14.6 km southeast of Gainsborough within West Lindsey District Council. Once completed, it is expected to deliver up to 480 MW of clean electricity to the National Grid, enough to power approximately 144,000 homes and replace about 24 percent of the capacity of the coal-powered West Burton Power Station.

Tara Sethi, Lanpro's technical director for EIA and major infrastructure, mentioned that Lanpro has collaborated with Island Green Power on the West Burton Solar Project for three years.

This major initiative aims to supply affordable, clean energy to hundreds of thousands of homes in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. It also plays a crucial role in helping the country achieve its Net Zero target. Sethi expressed pride in working on both the West Burton and Cottam solar projects and looks forward to a successful outcome later this year.

“In doing so, it plays an important part in achieving the country's Net Zero aim. We've had the opportunity of working with Island Green Power on this and other solar projects, and we're hoping for a successful outcome later this year,” Sethi stated.

Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project

The West Burton Solar Project is named for its connection to the existing National Grid substation at the West Burton Power Station. The project consists of multiple sites, identified as West Burton 1, 2, and 3, which include the solar arrays, grid connection infrastructure, energy storage, cable route corridors, access points, and environmental mitigation and enhancement measures.

These sites are situated roughly 7.4 km south and up to 14.6 km southeast of Gainsborough. Because of the substantial renewable energy it will produce, the West Burton Solar Project is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).

Consequently, a Development Consent Order (DCO) application has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) after thorough consultations with stakeholders, including local communities and District and County Councils, to secure the required construction permission.

The West Burton Solar Project is a major step forward for the UK's renewable energy efforts. With the Planning Inspectorate's examination phase completed and a decision expected soon, the project aims to power over 140,000 homes. The collaborative efforts of Island Green Power, Lanpro, and various stakeholders have been crucial in reaching this milestone, bringing the UK closer to its Net Zero goals.

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