New Leaf Solar is a joint project that is being developed with Sharenergy and Herefordshire Council to install the UK’s first community-owned solar PV array on a closed landfill site. It is a pioneering project and will in fact be one of small handful of similar projects and indeed the only community-owned solar project on landfill. The project is not without challenges and obstacles – but it is all good learning fun!
The installation will be located at the former landfill site at Stretton Sugwas, near Hereford, where there is scope to install up to 1MW of solar PV: this is sufficient to power 250 homes (based on average usage of 4kW / home).
Initial feasibility work has taken place (supported by WRAP’s Rural Community Energy Fund). Further development work, including a full Environmental Impact Assessment, has been completed using investment from a pioneer share offer. If the planning application is successful, the main share offer will be issued later this year in order to fund the installation costs. All being well, the site will be producing clean energy in spring 2016.
Installation of renewable energy generation at the site provides all-round benefits. It enables a disused site to provide a productive function; it will help reduce the county’s carbon footprint; it provides a fair return to investors; and the surplus will help support New Leaf’s work in the county such as the annual h.Energy event. The intention is also to supply the village hall in Stretton Sugwas with free solar power.
A planning application has been submitted to Herefordshire Council and letters of support for the planning application would be welcomed. To make things quick and easy there is a draft letter which can be downloaded from the New Leaf website below
There is also a Facebook page which you may wish to ‘Like’