Three Bridges Solar - PACE Community Portal
Introduction

Pathfinder Clean Energy (PACE) has brought forward a proposal for the Three Bridges solar farm with battery energy storage on land off Heath Road.

Facilities like these enable this country to meet its low carbon and renewable energy targets. As you may know, the Government has committed to a target of “net zero carbon emissions” and a transition away from fossil fuels for energy supply. Increasingly, renewable energy facilities provide the backbone of this new approach and solar farms, such as that proposed at Three Bridges, are vital in enabling this.

You can view our planning application in full on the council’s website. The planning reference for this project is 3PL/2020/1134/F.

This website contains details of our proposals, but in summary:

  • Three Bridges solar farm will generate enough renewable energy to power over 6,200 homes a year.
  • Construction traffic will be routed away from Lyng and Elsing to minimise disturbances. Once operational, there will be almost no traffic.
  • The batteries are similar to those used in phones and laptops and help reduce risks of power cuts by storing and then releasing energy at times of high demand.
  • Solar farms take up a very small proportion of the land they occupy, leaving huge scope for biodiversity enhancements and continued agriculture.
  • The development will be surrounded by new hedgerows to minimise visibility from homes and the bridleway. It will not be visible from Lyng or Elsing.

Several sites were considered in the area before the Heath Road site was selected as the most appropriate location. The area has capacity to connect a development to the local electricity grid and the proposed fields will have limited visual or heritage impacts. They can be well screened and present significant opportunities for biodiversity.

It will not be necessary to remove any trees or hedges and the land beneath the panels will be available for grazing livestock as well as biodiversity improvements.

Construction traffic will access the site from Heath Road and traffic is not expected to need to pass through Lyng or Elsing.

As a result, PACE believes the proposed development would be in keeping with the character of the area and would make a vital contribution to reducing the risks of climate change.

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Who we are

Pathfinder Clean Energy brings together experience from the development, construction and operation of over 1GW of clean energy projects. This allows us to bring the latest best practices, technical solutions and innovation to our projects.

PACE, headquartered in the UK, is committed to a sustainable future and is working to create low-carbon energy to the benefit of the environment and the community.

Our team includes ecologists, landscape and heritage specialists who help us to create environmentally friendly solar farms.

We would welcome suggestions from you as to how we can improve our project.

What will it be like and why do we need it?

Solar farms use photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate energy from daylight and distribute it to homes and businesses. Batteries store excess energy produced during the day for use at times of high demand, thereby helping to reduce the risk of power cuts.

They are necessary because coal power stations are closing and climate change commitments require big increases in renewable energy.

Solar farms produce home grown energy which contributes to the UK becoming energy independent and reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels. This is particularly important as demand for electricity for electric vehicles and heating grows.

No harmful greenhouse gas emissions are produced. The batteries use similar technology to mobile phones and laptops, and do not contain hazardous materials.

The development will generate very little noise and will not be heard outside of the site.

At the end of its 40 year operational life, the site will be completely restored.

What will it look like?

The proposed Three Bridges solar farm is located between the villages of Elsing and Lyng, at Fields at Elsing Road, Lyng, NR20 3EJ, to the north of the A47.

The PV arrays will be ground mounted in rows. They will slowly track the movement of the sun and will not exceed 3m in height.

Existing hedges and trees, and the local topography, means that the development will not be visible from most vantage points, but new planting will also be provided.

Below are a selection of computer generated images prepared by PACE to illustrate what the solar farm will look like. User the slider below to see before and after development. Once available, you can also download these in the downloads section.

Viewpoint Location E
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Original Image
Viewpoint Location 5 (updated)
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Original Image
Viewpoint Location 8
Photomontage Image
Original Image
Use the sliders above to see pictures taken recently and how we expect them to look after the development is constructed and landscaping mitigation added.
How will we access the site?

Once operational, solar farms generate almost no traffic. During the 16 week construction period, traffic will be routed away from the settlements of Lyng and Elsing.

The proposed route is to approach the site from the south, as shown on the map.

The development will be connected to the electricity grid within the site itself.

During construction, there may be some disturbance on some days. This won’t last long and our aim is to keep it to a minimum, including restrictions on working hours.

A management plan will be agreed with the Council in advance, which will include details of how you can contact us in the event of a problem.

What are the benefits?

The Three Bridges solar farm will have the capacity to generate 15 megawatts of clean, renewable energy which could power the equivalent of around 6,200 homes each year.

Battery storage will also provide power at times of high demand.

Solar power has become one of the most cost effective energy sources. Therefore, it will be built without public subsidies.

Solar farms take up a very small proportion of the land they occupy, leaving huge scope for biodiversity. Research has shown they improve the diversity and abundance of broad leaved plants, grasses, butterflies, bumblebees and birds, including those with conservation status. Details of the enhancements we will provide can be found in the graphic.

It will be sited on lower grade agricultural land and grazing of small livestock can continue throughout operation, providing a dual benefit of agriculture and energy generation.

The rapid construction time provides faster access to renewable power for our nation’s growing energy demands and lowers our carbon footprint, without creating harmful emissions or noise outside of the solar farm.

What are the timescales?

Due to the UK Government restrictions as a result of Covid-19, we are unable to hold a Community Information Day in the area so have provided all of our proposed details here online.

Engaging with the community is important to us and we welcome your feedback on our proposals, along with any suggestions you might have to improve them. Please fill out our survey here.

Following a review of the initial feedback, we have evolved our project plans and have now submitted a planning application to Breckland District Council.

It takes the council approximately 13 weeks for the Council to decide the application. If approved, further design and management details usually need to be agreed before we can start building, such as construction management and ecological management plans.

PACE will then construct the solar farm. Most deliveries are completed in the first six weeks of a construction period that usually lasts around three to five months.

Further information / downloads

You can view our planning application in full on the council’s website. The planning reference for this project is 3PL/2020/1134/F.

We have completed a comprehensive set of surveys to help determine the site area and layout, so that impacts on residents can be minimised, and to identify opportunities for improving the proposals. These include:

Comment or contact us

You can email us at communityrelations@threebridgessolar.co.uk or give us a call on 0800 3777 348 and we can arrange for someone to call you back.

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