Mallard Pass solar farm proposal enters second phase of public consultation
A company which hopes to build an extensive solar farm believes soaring energy prices prove the need for sustainable options.
Windel Energy and Canadian Solar are launching a second round of public consultation today (Thursday, May 26) on their plans for Mallard Pass.
The proposed solar farm would generate around 350 megawatts of renewable energy for the national grid.
If approved, it will be located on either side of the East Coast Main Line near Essendine and have the potential to power 92,000 homes.
Managing director of Windel Energy, Gary Toomey, said: “The first quarter of 2022 has demonstrated our vulnerability to volatile energy prices and international energy markets and our urgent need for new energy generation infrastructure, particularly from clean, low-cost sources such as solar.
"It is our ambition to deliver a project that provides reliable and sustainable energy to the national grid while responding sensitively to the local environment, providing opportunities for surrounding communities, and offering enhancements to native wildlife and biodiversity."
The initial proposal was widely criticised for its scale and the impact on wildlife and views of the area.
In response to public opinion and the results of environmental surveys, the proposed area for solar panels and infrastructure has now been decreased by 100 hectares.
Residential buffer zones have been added to the plan along with 108 hectares of wildflower and grassland areas, and 4.7km of footpaths.
This round of public consultation will run for 10 weeks until Thursday, August 4.Feedback can be submitted online, by post, by phone and in person at a series of events.
The company was criticised by Rutland MP Alicia Kearns for refusing to attend a public meeting in March.
People wishing to find out more and have their say can do so at the following public information events:
- Online webinar - Friday, June 17, 11am to 1pm
- Essendine Village Hall - Saturday, June 25, 11am to 5pm
- Stamford Town Hall - Wednesday, June 29, 3pm to 8pm
- Greatford Village Hall - Thursday, June 30, 3pm to 8pm
- Ryhall Village Hall - Friday, July 1, 12.30pm to 4.30pm
- Online webinar - Tuesday, July 5, 6pm to 8pm
The area earmarked for development spreads out from Essendine towards Aunby, Carlby, Braceborough, Uffington and Ryhall, and is a development so large it will be decided by the Government's Planning Inspectorate rather than in Lincolnshire or Rutland.
Windel Energy and Canadian Solar are likely to submit the application to the Government at the end of 2022, after the stage two consultation responses have been considered.
Full details of all the project are available at: www.MallardPassSolar.co.uk
Documents will also be kept and available to view at Essendine Village Hall, Stamford Arts Centre, and Ryhall Village Hall during their regular opening hours.