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Wales’ biggest-ever solar farm could power 100,000 homes

THE proposed development, set to be south of the Llanwern steelworks site, is progressing towards its goal of generating enough green energy to power over 100,000 homes. It’s estimated that this solar farm could produce up to 400MW of energy, sufficient to supply electricity to approximately 108,000 households.

Spanning the local authority boundaries of Monmouthshire and Newport, the solar farm would connect to the National Grid via a substation at Whitson. Future Energy Llanwern has outlined plans to release further details about the project, including its size, cost, electricity generation, and battery storage, in the coming months.

Due to its scale, this solar farm would be classified by the UK Government as a nationally significant infrastructure project, with the Welsh Government providing input into the process. Over its 40-year operational lifespan, the project aims to contribute £10m (£250,000 per annum) towards local projects through electricity sales and offer free electric vehicle charging to local residents.

The solar farm, fully funded and owned by NextEnergy, highlights its commitment to environmental preservation, particularly given its location in the Gwent Levels, a sensitive ecological area. Detailed specifications for solar panels will be decided during the construction phase, taking advantage of evolving panel technology.

Paul Griffiths, Monmouthshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for planning and economic development, expressed the council’s support for the project, emphasising the importance of renewable energy in driving Monmouthshire’s green industrial revolution while safeguarding local ecology.

In addition to this ambitious solar venture, Future Energy Llanwern, in partnership with NextEnergy, is also involved in reviving another solar farm project at the Gwent Levels, previously rejected by the Welsh Government in 2021. Following a legal challenge, the application for the Wentlooge Farmers’ Solar Scheme Ltd. is now slated for reconsideration.≠