The solar farm, located across Darlington and Stockton-on-Tees, would provide enough low-carbon energy to meet the equivalent annual needs of over 70,000 homes.
The application for a Development Consent Order for Byers Gill Solar was submitted on 9 February 2024. The Planning Inspectorate will decide whether or not to accept the application to move on to the next stage by 8 March 2024.
All the application documents are available on the documents page, which we have chosen to publish early to give more time for anyone with an interest in the proposals to read them. As we are publishing the documents before the application is accepted by the Planning Inspectorate, it should be noted that these documents would be subject to change if the application was not accepted to move on to the next stage.
Please get in touch if you have any questions about the proposals and the application using our free phone enquiries line: 0800 197 0118 or email email@example.com. There are a number of documents, and we would like to help you navigate them or answer questions where we can, in order to allow you to take part in the planning process most effectively.
The Need For Solar
The UK has made a legally binding commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This can only be achieved with the adoption and roll-out of reliable, affordable, clean energy sources such as solar.
At JBM Solar, we’re passionate about everything we do, and believe strongly in our vision to deliver a future powered by clean energy, with solar at the forefront.
In 2022, the UK Government published their Energy Security Strategy, announcing that they intend to accelerate and increase solar power capacity by up to fivefold from 14GW to 70GW by 2035.
If achieved, this will mean the UK has a 100% renewable electricity grid by 2035. Byers Gill Solar would play an important part in the helping the UK to reach our renewable energy targets, by powering over 70,000 homes.
The local authorities in these areas have also recognised the need for action on climate change. Darlington Borough Council and Durham County Council declared a climate emergency in 2019, while Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council adopted an Environmental Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Strategy in 2022. Byers Gill Solar will be a crucial part of any efforts to reduce Carbon Consumption
Byers Gill Solar consists of a solar farm capable of generating 180MW of electricity, enough to power over 70,000 homes. Located across neighbouring sites between Darlington and Stockton-on-Tees, the proposals include:
Six Panel Areas, mounted on a metal frame in groups;
Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS);
An on-site substation;
Up to 31km of underground cabling, to connect to the Panel Areas to the national grid; and
A range of supporting infrastructure, including inverters, storage containers and security measures
Other key features of the scheme are mitigation and enhancement measures for the natural environment. These measures would ensure any negative impact on existing habitats and biodiversity is limited, with improvements provided to help nature thrive on the site. New habitats and landscaping would be created, leading to an overall increase in biodiversity and ecological networks across the site. As well as contributing to the UK’s net zero targets, Byers Gill Solar would also contribute to creating a better natural environment in the local area.
Public rights of way would also be improved, with new connections creating more off-road routes for local people to enjoy. Views to the Castle Hill motte and bailey castle would be enhanced through sensitive landscaping, with existing and new hedgerows managed so that the solar farm is screened from walkers enjoying the local area. Two new recreational areas would also be created with picnic benches and planting for community use.
The size of the scheme means that Byers Gill Solar is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). This means that permission to construct and operate the scheme is sought through a Development Consent Order (DCO) application made to the Planning Inspectorate and decided by the Secretary of State.
JBM Solar is at the heart of the UK’s renewable energy revolution, helping to realise our collective goal of net zero emissions through the deployment of solar energy. Since 2012, JBM Solar has secured planning permission for more than 1GW of solar projects, the equivalent of providing energy to over 265,000 homes. JBM Solar is committed to delivering large-scale solar farms with co-located battery storage, and a minimum of 50% biodiversity net gain on every project.
JBM Solar has recently been acquired by RWE, the UK’s largest power generator and one of the largest renewables developers, who are committed to the design, build and operation of the Byers Gill Solar. RWE’s involvement provides certainty that the scheme would be high-quality and well maintained throughout its operation.