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This page is accessible on desktop and most mobile devices. For the best user experience, we recommend viewing from a desktop device. Information may not appear fully on some mobile devices. Electronic and hard copies of exhibition material are available, please contact us for more information.

 

Public Exhibition

RES is exploring the potential for a solar farm on land approximately 1km southwest of Magheralin, Co. Down.

Environmental and technical surveys are ongoing to ensure that the site is suitable for a solar farm development and to inform a preliminary layout and design.

RES is now at the stage of consulting with the local community to get feedback on our early stage proposal. The feedback will be taken into account, along with the results of site surveys and assessments, as we refine the design.  We recently held a public exhibition in the local area to enable people to find out more about the proposal and provide us with their views. RES staff were available to answer any questions or queries, and comment forms were available to gather feedback.  The closing date for comments was 7th April 2023 at 5pm. Comments will still be accepted after this date but may not be considered in relation to the design development, please contact us for more information.

All information provided at the public exhibition is also available to view below. 

 

Why Solar?

Renewable energy at lowest cost to the consumer1

Tackling climate change by supporting the UK’s target of net zero by 2050

Specifically designed to be dual purpose, combining continued agricultural use and renewable generation

Quick to deploy

Modern, efficient technology allowing more electricity generation in less space

Diversification of agricultural business

Significant biodiversity enhancement opportunities, supporting new & existing plant & animal habitats

High level of public support2

 

Design Layout and Infrastructure

The plan to the right shows the preliminary layout for Magheralin Solar Farm which will be capable of producing up to 29.9MW of clean, renewable electricity.

The preliminary layout is based on initial findings from environmental and technical surveys which are ongoing. We are currently consulting on this layout and as such, it is subject to change.

In addition to the solar panels, the site infrastructure is expected to include:

  • A network of on-site access tracks
  • A substation/transformer with security fencing
  • Inverters on hardstandings
  • Temporary construction compounds
  • Deer fencing around the perimeter of the solar farm

                                   Click on image to enlarge

 

Environmental Considerations

RES design their solar farms so that they will fit sensitively in the surrounding landscape.

As part of the planning process, RES carries out a number of detailed technical and environmental surveys to ensure any potential impact upon the environment, landscape, heritage and local residents is appropriately assessed and mitigated. These assessments include:

  • Landscape and Visual
  • Ecology
  • Cultural Heritage and Archaeology
  • Flood risk
  • Traffic and Transport
  • Noise
  • Glint and Glare

The results of these surveys, along with feedback from the local community and stakeholders, are taken into account as the design of the solar farm is refined and finalised. The assessments will accompany any planning application that is made.

 

Landscape and Ecology

The plan to the right shows a preliminary Landscape and Ecological Management Plan (LEMP).

The preliminary LEMP illustrates our immediate and long-term commitment to deliver landscape planting as well as the protection and enhancement of biodiversity around the site.

As the design progresses, the LEMP will be developed further with site-specific details on measures to enhance existing habitats, protect species and provide landscaping specifications for new vegetation in accordance with relevant standards.

In addition, the LEMP will provide information on the timings and aftercare regime for all planting for the lifetime of the proposed Magheralin Solar Farm, if it is consented.

 

                               Click on image to enlarge

 

Transport and Access

Access is an important consideration when selecting a potential solar farm site.

The preliminary plan to the right shows the potential access route currently under consideration which could be used for the delivery of materials and access for construction and maintenance.

A transport survey is ongoing and we will consult with Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Roads, the emergency services, the local community and other relevant bodies to produce a Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP) to support any future planning application. The CTMP outlines the overall framework for managing the safe movement of construction and delivery traffic as well as itemising the expected number of traffic movements and timing restrictions.

The traffic movements will be limited to avoid morning and evening peak times, where possible. There will also be a dedicated Community Liaison Officer to engage with local residents throughout the construction and operational phases, if the solar farm is consented.

 

                             Click on image to enlarge

 

How Solar Works

Solar PV panels are typically made from silicon, which is a great semi-conductor, installed in a metal panel frame with a glass casing.

The sun gives off light, even on cloudy days, and when these light particles, or photons, hit the thin layer of silicon on the top of a solar panel, they knock electrons off the silicon atoms which creates a direct current (D C) of electricity. This is captured by the wiring in the solar panels.

This DC electricity is then converted to alternating current (AC) by an inverter which is then funnelled into the grid network. AC is the type of electrical current used when you plug appliances into normal wall sockets.

Bifacial modules have two sides of solar cells, enabling additional energy generation from the diffuse light reflected off the grass, on the rear-side of the panels.

In most cases solar panels are recyclable and there are well established industrial processes to do this. There are organisations around the UK and Europe specialising in solar recycling, such as PV Cycle and the European Recycling Platform.

They are working with solar developers to minimise electrical waste and recycle old panels in line with the Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations.

 

 

Please note that comments submitted to RES at this time are not representations to the determining authority (Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council). There will be an opportunity to submit representations to the determining authority should an application be made.

 

1 hhttps://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/6556027d046ed400148b99fe/electricity-generation-costs-2023.pdf
2 https://solarenergyuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Copper-Consultancy_Solar-Energy-UK_Public-attitudes-to-solar_January-2022.pdf