Elements Green planning 800MW UK solar & storage project

November 3, 2023

UK renewable energy project developer Elements Green is at an “early stage” of developing plans for Great North Road Solar Park, a solar and energy storage park located to the northwest of Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire.

The project has a potential generation capacity of around 800 megawatts (MW) AC of solar energy, which would potentially meet the power needs of approximately 400,000 homes while avoiding more than 250,000 of CO2 emissions every year.

Great North Road Solar Park is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) because the amount of electricity it could generate exceeds 50MW.  This requires Elements Green to submit an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to the Planning Inspectorate. Ultimately, the Secretary of State for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) will decide whether to grant consent.

It is anticipated that the development process through DCO submission and examination will take between two and three years. Subject to achieving consent, construction would begin around 2027.

Elements Green has identified multiple parcels of land extending to the north of the A617 and the west of the A1 to deliver the scheme. Work is currently underway to determine suitable areas for accommodating the principal components of the solar park which include solar photovoltaic panels (PV), an on-site energy storage facility and associated infrastructure to connect the scheme to the national grid at Staythorpe substation, as well as significant biodiversity enhancements including tree planting, wildflower meadows, and wetland areas. Findings from surveys and assessments will also determine enhancements to existing public rights of way and the creation of additional walkways.

The findings from the initial work will be shared through a first stage of community consultation anticipated in early 2024. Feedback to this consultation will be used to inform and refine more detailed proposals on which a further stage of consultation will be carried out.  

Mark Noone, project director for Great North Road Solar Park, said: “Our proposals for Great North Road Solar Park build on the Trent Valley’s long history of powering the UK. With an installed capacity of over one gigawatt (GW) DC the scheme offers an effective, clean solution that would help secure the UK’s future energy needs, contributing 1.5 per cent towards the government’s 2035 solar PV target. Stepping up the production of sustainable, home-grown electricity, it would also contribute to tackling the cost-of-living crisis head-on through the reduction of household energy bills.”