The proposal is the construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of a ground mounted solar farm with a maximum export capacity of 45.5MW with potential for a second phase of battery storage. The proposed development would, typically, have a life of up to 40 years at the end of which the modules would be decommissioned and removed from the site. The site would then be returned to its current state and use.
There will also be some electrical connection infrastructure and the point of connection to the electricity grid is to a pylon located 2,000m to the east of the main site which forms part of the 132kV Sundon to Bedford overhead line. There are currently two grid connection route options to connect the proposed solar PV development to the existing 132kV transmission lines further to the east of the site. These include a route which follows the A422 to the north and then Hay Lane to the south. Alternatively, the grid connection route may cross third party land to the east subject to landowner agreement to reduce the grid connection distance between the A422 and Hay Lane. A substation compound will be positioned alongside the point of connection to the 132kv pylon.
To utilise the network capacity fully, it is proposed that battery storage is included as a second phase of development, this will store surplus energy in order to provide help to the grid during peak consumer usage.
Construction material deliveries will arrive by HGV vehicles, whilst construction staff will arrive via commercial vans.
Construction of the scheme will last no longer than 6 months.
The Benefits of Cranfield Road Solar Farm
The main benefits of the development proposed are summarised below:
The site would generate enough renewable energy to power the equivalent annual energy needs of 15,000 homes, making a significant contribution to local clean power and regional renewable targets.
The scheme would displace the equivalent of 862,000 tonnes of CO2 from equivalent fossil fuel energy generation over the lifespan of 40 years.
The scheme would allow Bedford Borough, Milton Keynes and Central Bedfordshire to play its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with local, national and international targets.
The site will be subject to considerable biodiversity and landscape enhancements. Both will be carefully managed with a Landscape and Ecological Management Plan.
The site can be used for grazing throughout the operation of the solar farm and can be returned to its original agricultural use following decommissioning.
The Public Rights of Way that cross the site will be retained and unaffected.