Renewable Connections Development Limited (Renewable Connections) is proposing a renewable energy scheme on land near Astwood, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK43 8SU. It is envisaged that Cranfield Road Solar Farm will have a generating capacity of up to 45 megawatts. The solar farm will connect to the local grid on West End Road using an underground cable run which is yet to be finalised.
To fully utilise the network connection capacity, the farm may include battery storage as a second phase of development which will store energy for times of peak demand. The scheme will support Government legislation to decarbonise our energy system and ensure the UK is carbon neutral by 2050.
Due to the unprecedented times we find ourselves in, we are unable to hold a face to face public consultation event. The COVID-19 pandemic is at the forefront of all decisions that we make, however, we still want to share with you our plans for Cranfield Road Solar Farm. This website has been set-up to do just that, so please feel free to browse the website and use the ‘contact us’ page if you have any questions or wish to make a representation/suggestion.
For the Cranfield Road
Public Consultation leaflet
Where is the Site?
The site is located on land near Astwood, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK43 8SU. The site straddles three administrative boundaries, including Bedford, Milton Keynes and Central Bedfordshire Council.
About Renewable Connections Development Limited
Renewable Connections has been established by Armstrong Capital Management, one of the UK’s leading renewable energy companies to help drive the decarbonisation of the UK economy by developing renewable energy projects. Renewable Connections have a successful track record of delivering well designed renewable energy schemes across the UK.
Why are Solar Farms Important?
The National Infrastructure Committee have advised the government that by 2030, a minimum of 50% of power should come from renewables. A climate change emergency was declared by Milton Keynes Council in January 2019 whereby the Council pledged to make Milton Keynes carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon negative by 2050. Milton Keynes Council adopted its Sustainable Stagey 2019 – 2050 in December 2019 which sets out how it will be carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon negative by 2050 while creating one of the world’s most truly sustainable economies and models for growth.
In July 2019, Central Bedfordshire Council unanimously supported a proposal to prioritise responding to climate change. Central Bedfordshire are now working on producing a deliverable plan, ready for roll out during 2020. In that plan, the Council will be setting out their investment strategy for supporting a carbon neutral Central Bedfordshire for 2030 and beyond.
Similarly, Bedford Borough Council declared a Climate Emergency in March 2019 and has pledged to become Carbon Neutral by 2030. As part of the Council’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030, the Sustainable Development and Environmental Efficiency Strategy (SDEES) has been developed.
Latest government energy statistics reveal that in 2019 fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy supply, accounting for 79.4%. Just 11% of energy consumption came from renewable sources. Increasing the supply of energy by renewable sources represents a significant challenge for the UK.
In June 2020, the Committee on Climate Change published its Reducing UK Emissions report which provides an annual review of UK progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The report finds that energy networks must be strengthened in order to support the electrification of transport and heating.
The site has been carefully selected as part of a detailed feasibility process. Consideration has been given to, amongst other things; grid capacity, solar irradiation, environmental designations, cultural heritage, ecology/biodiversity, flood risk and agricultural land quality. Technical studies and reports are still being conducted to inform the final site design.