Published: 10 Nov 2022, 16:45
Committee members at Darlington Borough Council have approved Aura Power’s 49.9MW Burtree Lane solar farm.
The site, due to begin construction in 2023, “will nearly triple the existing renewable energy generated in Darlington Borough” and significantly help the Council achieve their target of reaching net zero emissions by 2040, Aura said in a statement.
It also highlighted the planned ecological enhancements included in the design, such as new hedgerows and trees, alongside marshy grassland. This is hoped to improve habitats for breeding ground-nesting birds which, Aura stated, will give a 46% biodiversity net gain.
The project is also set to provide local community benefits. The solar farm’s proposal includes a £20,000 yearly Community Benefit Fund, which would equate to £800,000 by the end of the farms 40-year operational lifetime of development.
Speaking to Darlington’s committee members, George Wilyman, planning manager at Aura Power, said: “This solar farm not only brings significant economic, social and environmental benefits, but provides a strong contribution to local and national carbon cutting targets.”
In total, Aura Power state that they have gained planning approval for 350MWp of solar and battery storage projects in the UK this year alone. Looking to the future Aura Power said it will aim to expand its solar and battery energy storage pipeline internationally.