Solar Energy

Why solar?

This scheme represents an important contribution to meeting the UK’s legally binding target under the Climate Change Act 2008 to achieve ‘net zero’ carbon by 2050.

Like other renewable energies, solar power represents a ‘clean’ source of renewable energy as it doesn’t release any harmful emissions or pollutants.

Solar energy is also one of the cheapest forms of new renewable power generation in the UK, and consequently can contribute to controlling consumer’s energy bills into the future.

Solar projects are non-permanent developments and the land will be returned to agricultural use once the site has been decommissioned. Some agricultural activities can be retained (such as sheep grazing), and there is opportunity to enhance local biodiversity through creation of new habitats and planting around the site.

The Helios Renewable Energy Project will have an operational lifespan of 40 years and will be returned to its former use once it has been decommissioned.

The Benefits

Net zero: The proposals will deliver an export capacity of 190MW of renewable energy and will support the UK’s legally binding commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Likewise, the proposals will support the government’s target of reaching 70GW of solar capacity by 2035 – a five-fold increase on current levels.

Reversibility: The development is designed to be entirely reversible. At the end of the solar farm’s 40-year life, all equipment will be dismantled, removed, and largely recycled. The site will then be returned to agricultural use.

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG): Well-designed and managed solar farms are proven wildlife havens and support a range of ecosystems. The proposals include a comprehensive strategy of landscape and ecological improvements, aimed at significantly boosting nature and ecology.

Landscaping: To minimise visual impact, the solar farm will be screened. This will be achieved through the planting and restoration of hedgerows, as well as the establishment of native trees and vegetation.

Agricultural Land: Intensively farmed arable land can become degraded and infertile over time. A solar farm allows agricultural land to rest, free from fertilisers and pesticides. This helps increase soil organic matter and protects the long-term agricultural use of the site for future generations.

Land Use: Solar farms provide an opportunity for multiple lands uses; in addition to producing renewable energy, the site can continue to be grazed by sheep, supporting biodiversity and farming alongside clean energy generation.

Community Benefit: A contribution to a community benefit fund is being considered to assist with local schemes, initiatives, and worthy causes

Want to know more? Take a look at our consultation materials


The proposal provides significant opportunities for wildlife through new biodiversity and habitat improvement areas and the enhancement of biological corridors throughout the site as a result of grassland creation, tree planting and new hedgerows.

The proposed creation of diverse grasslands, tree planting and hedgerow planting will create new habitat opportunities for breeding, foraging and overwintering as well as refuge, for a range of species including birds, bats, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates. These interventions will have the additional benefit of improving biological connectivity throughout the site. The proposed plans will therefore deliver a Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG).