Fair Oaks Renewable Energy Park Gains Planning Approval
Published: October 6, 2023
This Article was Written by: Rebecca Renfrew - Ridge Clean Energy
On 2nd October 2023 Rushcliffe Borough Council planners gave the go-ahead for Ridge Clean Energy (RCE) to construct Fair Oaks Renewable Energy Park at Fields Farm off Asher Lane. The green power generation scheme will pair 49.9MW of solar panels with 49.9MW of battery storage capacity – enough to supply 11,200 homes with clean electricity. The combination of technologies can achieve efficient, reliable, and stable energy generation from the site for up to four decades.
Marjorie Glasgow BEM, co-founder and CEO of Ridge Clean Energy, says: “We are delighted that Rushcliffe Borough Council have granted permission for Fair Oaks REP. As a company we aim to set a new standard for clean energy projects in the UK, through effective integration of renewable energy, community involvement and environmental protection.”
The associated Fair Oaks Community Benefit Fund is projected to provide £24,950 per year for the 40-year lifespan of the project. Additionally, RCE will provide up-front seed capital and development assistance for community projects, so the community don’t have to wait until the completion of the build to start receiving benefits.
Rebecca Renfrew, RCE Community Partnership Coordinator, adds: “We are so pleased that Fair Oaks REP has received planning permission. We are excited to be working in the future with all of Ruddington Community through local groups, businesses, organisations and continuing to grow partnerships with Ruddington Parish Council, Rushcliffe Country Park, Ruddington Village Community Partnership and St Peter’s Junior School.”
Project Manager Jonny Murphy says: “We’re thrilled that the Fair Oaks REP has been granted planning permission. It’s a real opportunity for the local community and environment to benefit from the tangible benefits and substantial biodiversity net gain that the project will bring, whilst at the same time helping secure domestic and renewable energy generation. We listened to what the community told us at our public engagement events and acted positively to evolve our application to address those concerns.”
The scheme will include arrays of ground-mounted solar panels with species-rich seed mix in between the panels to encourage wildlife, especially bees and birds. The site layout was adjusted following feedback received from statutory consultees and the local community at the public exhibitions, with panels proposed on Gotham Moor and within 100m of footpaths being removed, and the access route being changed.
“A detailed Landscape and Biodiversity Mitigation and Enhancement Plan has been committed to, which will demonstrate a substantial biodiversity net gain supporting local wildlife and providing new habitats” adds Jonny. “We’re looking forward to taking the project through to construction whilst keeping our close links with the local community, who we’d like to thank for their inputs so far. It’s decisions like these that future generations can look back on and see that we’ve actively been part of the solution to climate change. We will keep the community informed as the development progresses.”