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Wrexham Council planners to decide on large solar farm proposal 

A LARGE solar farm could be created near Wrexham Industrial Estate if given the go-ahead next week.

When Wrexham Council’s planning committee meets on Monday they are to determine an application for land adjacent to Little Llwyn Onn in Abenbury.

Novus Renewable Services Limited has applied to build a solar park and battery storage facility on almost 14 hectares of agricultural land off Cefn Road.

The renewable energy company says the facility will be capable of generating 9.9 MWp (megawatt peak) of electricity.

Some of the electricity created would be used to power the nearby Five Fords Wastewater Treatment Works. The battery storage facility would be used to store electricity from the National Grid to release it at times of high demand.

According to a planning statement submitted with the application last year, the solar farm would have significant public benefits through the decarbonisation of a public utility.

It stated: “The battery storage facility would maximise efficiency between the solar generation and the supply through the private wire and otherwise provide resilience to the grid.

“Only a very small proportion of high-grade agricultural land may be affected, however, no soils would be permanently lost from the site and an agricultural use, in the form of sheep grazing will be able to continue.

“It has been demonstrated that the development would have a minimal impact upon the character and appearance of the landscape, would not result in harm to protected species or habitats and it would not be harmful to the amenities of those living near to the site. It would provide economic and environmental benefits.

“At a time when there is a climate emergency, an energy price crisis and as Wales looks towards a green recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic, it is of key importance that renewable energy developments are encouraged, promoted and delivered swiftly.”

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A planning officer report to be read by members of the committee states that Welsh Water has confirmed its support for the development on the grounds of it being an opportunity for renewable energy to displace Dwr Cymru’s electricity use at the Five Fords Waste Water Treatment Works.

It will reduce dependence on grid supplied electricity and contribution towards Dwr Cymru being a net zero business by 2040.

The report adds: “The site is considered to be an appropriate location for the proposed development.

“The proposed solar farm would not harm the surrounding landscape. Having regard to layout of the site and the mitigation measures proposed, nor would it give rise to unacceptable highway, residential amenity, flood risk or historic environment impacts.

“On this basis, the proposal accords with the relevant development plan policies.”

Wrexham Council’s planning committee meets on Monday (March 6) to decide on the application.