Plans to build a 42-acre solar farm at a former landfill site near Cardiff are set for the go-ahead after being recommended for approval as wildlife concerns were withdrawn.
Natural Resources Wales previously had conerns relating to roosting birds at the site on Lamby Way, with the application from Cardiff Council to be considered by the planning committee tomorrow.
If planning permission is granted, the council’s cabinet will then be asked to approve the results of a tender process to build the solar farm at its meeting on 16 May.
Cllr Michael, cabinet member for clean streets, environment and recycling, said: “This project shows that the council can continue to play its part in reducing our carbon emissions while increasing the production of renewable energy in Wales in line with Welsh Government’s requirements.
“A climate emergency has been declared by the council and by national governments and this project is a significant step forwards in this difficult area.
“The figures show that we can also generate a small surplus income for the council from an otherwise difficult site to develop.
“Initially it was calculated that the solar farm would be able to generate 7.5 MW of electricity each year, but following the tender process, the preferred bidder to design and build the scheme is proposing a bigger facility, capable of generating 8.99MW of electricity per annum.
“Although this increases the total costs to build and maintain the solar farm over the 35 year period from £14.9m to £16.3m, the income that will be received from the sale of green electricity increases from £21.2m up to £25.8m during this time – which ensures that the payback period for the council remains unchanged.
“The council has been working closely with Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water on plans to use 5MW of green electricity from the solar farm to help power their waste water facility over a 20-year period andthisan agreement on this is now in place.
“The remaining 3.99 megawatts of electricity will then be sold to the National Grid. The council has also received the support of the Welsh Government’s Energy Service throughout the feasibility and procurement stages of the project and to help develop the business case for the scheme.
“After the 20-year period has ended, all 8.99 MW of energy generated will be sold to the National Grid for the remaining 15 years of the project.”
The preferred contractors are scheduled to be appointed at the end of May, with the majority of the construction on site completed by October 2019.
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