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Somerset solar farm granted planning approval

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A new 15.23MW solar farm from Conrad Energy, due for construction in Yeovil, Somerset has been granted planning approval.

Once fully operational the solar farm will provide power via an underground cable to a nearby factory owned by aerospace giant Leonardo, where an energy storage system will allow excess power generated by the panels to be stored and re-utilised during times of higher demand. The solar farm is expected to save around 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide during its 40-year lifespan.

Steven Hardman, Conrad Energy’s CEO said:

“The Leonardo site in Yeovil is an incredibly important business and Conrad Energy’s team is offering a solution to help them move towards their net zero targets, whilst also working to fulfil the aims of the local council. Long term partnerships that ensure community engagement and a positive biodiversity impact are integral to the way we work, as the energy transition requires support from all of us. Conrad Energy is thrilled to have secured planning consent and look forward to bringing this solar farm to life for the benefit of the local economy and environment.”

Paul Coombs, VP Leonardo Global Solutions UK Facilities, Real Estate and Projects – Helicopters said:

“We will continue to support Somerset Council’s Climate Strategy to become a carbon neutral county by 2030, by exploring new routes through which we can obtain responsible renewable energy sources. Leonardo is committed to achieving a near-term Net Zero target for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 to reduce its environmental impact and the use of solar energy from this facility will help us move forward on this important journey.”

Somerset was the first county council in the UK to pass a motion declaring the climate emergency and was ranked the best county council in the UK by Climate Emergency UK in 2022. Part of that ranking was a perfect score in the Mitigation & Adaptation category, including plans for decarbonisation of energy generation. 

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