Bluefield Renewable Developments has obtained planning permission for its latest large-scale solar farm in Northumberland, marking the third such project for the company in the region. This new venture, located in Bedlington near the Burnt House solar farm, encompasses a 49.9MW solar facility paired with a 60MW battery energy storage system.
The Broadway House Farm project, situated on a former open cast coal mining site, received unanimous approval from councillors, who lauded its integration of renewable energy generation with a battery storage solution. The battery system is designed to facilitate the seamless incorporation of increasing levels of renewable energy into the grid and offer local grid support services.
Councillor Barry Flux expressed support for the project, stating, “It would seem to me to be the ideal place for this. This is far less intrusive than other forms of renewable energy.”
Post-construction, Bluefield plans to utilize the solar site for dual purposes, allowing sheep grazing in addition to energy production. The company also emphasized its commitment to biodiversity enhancement, designating specific areas for the creation of a wildflower meadow, rich grassland environments, and the improvement of existing hedgerows.
As part of its community engagement, Bluefield will allocate a minimum of £300,000 for local projects in the area. The company, known for developing, building, and operating solar farms, manages projects on behalf of funds such as the publicly traded Bluefield Solar Income Fund (BSIF).
Alan Connolly, Bluefield's development director, highlighted the collaborative efforts with the county council and the local community, emphasizing the constructive relationship cultivated throughout the project's development. The approval of this solar farm with battery storage aligns with Bluefield's broader strategy to expand its portfolio, contributing to the existing 100 solar farms in the UK with a cumulative capacity exceeding 800MW.