SLR supports development of solar farms in Northern Ireland

Leading environmental firm, SLR Consulting has been commissioned by the UK’s leading solar energy generator and developer of solar farms, Lightsource Renewable Energy to carry out a series of technical planning assessments as part of proposals to develop two solar farms in Northern Ireland. The proposed projects, one on a brownfield site in Downpatrick and the other on pasture near Lisburn, are each set to deliver approximately 4.9 Megawatts-Peak (Mwp) of electricity, showing how the geographic extent of commercially viable solar energy is expanding from its established base in southern England. Combined, these two solar farms will produce enough green electricity to power over 3,000 local households. The technical assessments carried out by SLR as part of the planning process included; hydrogeology, visual impact, ecology and archaeology studies. Conor McGuigan, Director of Business Development for Lightsource, comments: “These are our first solar projects in Northern Ireland and SLR’s expertise and knowledge of the region has proved very helpful in achieving our aims. In all our developments we have to ensure that the land area is well sited for a solar farm and it will not have an adverse impact on the environment.” “These studies are not only important for the council, but equally vital to our business to ensure our solar farms are sited responsibly. The studies carried out by SLR will feed into our land management plans to ensure the land area around our solar farms is managed to benefit local ecology and environmental values.” SLR Technical Director Tim Malim added: “Our environmental studies have been delivered promptly and their results clearly demonstrate that there is little to prevent these solar energy developments receiving permission.”