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Local consultation underway for proposed Coed Ely ‘Land Based Solar Farm’

RCT Council is inviting residents to have their say on the development of RCT Council’s FIRST ‘Land Based Solar Farm’, to be located on a ‘terraced’ former colliery site above Coed Ely in Tonyrefail.

It is anticipated that the Solar Farm will generate six Megawatts of power. Five Megawatts of power will be connected to the national grid with the potential to also supply one Megawatt of power to the nearby Royal Glamorgan Hospital. The Council are finalising the cost saving estimates but early indications are that it will substantially reduce the Council’s energy costs which are currently around £21 million per year.

As the land at the proposed site is from a reclaimed colliery, soil quality is not suitable to grow crops. However, if the scheme is approved, grazing rights for animals will continue to be available. This project is an example of how generating solar energy can also have a positive impact on biodiversity and farming.

The Council has already installed roof top panels on schools and leisure centres, generating two megawatts of energy in the last financial year. If approved, the new solar farm at Coed Ely will add to the Council’s drive to increase the amount of green energy it produces. The solar farm has the potential to offset over 1,500 tonnes of carbon every year.

Residents in the local area will shortly receive more details about the project directly to their homes, with information delivered to around 5,000 properties. This will include information about where residents can see relevant documents and public exhibitions about the project.

The local consultation opened on Tuesday, July 11, to Tuesday, August 8.  Following this it is anticipated that a planning application will be submitted, and, if successful, it is expected that construction will be able to start during 2024. Residents  are invited to come forward with concerns or feedback around the proposed project: https://theurbanists.net/application/proposed-solar-farm-at-coed-ely-tonyrefail/.

The Council are committed to become a Carbon Neutral Council by 2030 and to contribute to work that will also assist in the County Borough progressing to Carbon Neutral.  In order to achieve these targets, they have made changes and looked at new ways to deliver more climate friendly services and, in the goods and services they buy and commission. More of our work to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment from the impacts of Climate Change can be found on our Climate Change Website.

Councillor Tina Leyshon, Cabinet Member for Climate Change & Corporate Services, said: “I am delighted to see the Council making positive steps towards generating renewable energy through the development of our first ever land based solar farm, highlighting the Council’s commitment to becoming a Carbon Neutral Council by 2030.

“I also think it’s important to highlight how this project can be an example of how solar energy can also have a positive impact on biodiversity and farming. This coupled with substantial reductions in energy costs emphasises the progress being made towards our Carbon Neutral Council 2030 target.”