Posted: Mon 26th Feb 2024

Plas Power Solar and Energy Storage Project begins statutory consultation for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Monday, Feb 26th, 2024

Lightsource bp has announced the launch of its statutory six-week consultation on detailed proposals for a major solar energy project in Wrexham.

The Plas Power Solar & Energy Storage Project, on land east of Coedpoeth, could eventually generate and store up to 57Wac of electricity – the equivalent to providing enough power to meet the annual electricity needs of approximately 22,700 homes, saving 15,800 tonnes of carbon.

The 136 hectare site is predominantly grassland used for grazing, and was formerly an open cast coal mine.

As part of the proposals, Lightsource bp will provide a fund of £1,000 per MW capacity which will be distributed between Coedpoeth and Esclusham community councils and a further £400,000+ will be invested in local projects and initiatives for community benefit.

A public consultation which ran last summer has led to some changes to the initial proposals, including:

  • Removal of the agricultural land graded as best and most versatile (BMV).
  • Removal of solar panels and additional landscaped areas with planting to screen the proposals from nearby residential properties, and distant viewpoints.
  • Setting aside a section of land near Coedpoeth exclusively for habitat creation and boosting biodiversity. This, along with other improvements, will provide a biodiversity net-gain of around 64% for habitats and around 72% for hedgerows across the site.
  • Landscape and biodiversity proposals across site including the tree and hedgerow planting, wildflower meadows and tussocky grasslands, scrub planting and ponds supporting a variety of wildlife.
  • Safeguarding the public rights of way and footpaths across the site.

As part of the statutory six-week consultation local residents will have the chance to examine the plans and provide comments/responses for the project team to consider before finalising the Development of National Significance (DNS) application.

The application will then be submitted to Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW) for consideration before being determined by Welsh Ministers.

Katy McGuinness, Head of Environmental Planning, Northern Europe at Lightsource bp, said: “We believe that the Plas Power Solar & Energy Storage Project will provide energy for thousands of homes in the area, which in the context of an energy crisis is a great opportunity for homegrown renewable energy generation.”

“We are committed to responsibly developing sustainable renewable energy projects delivering benefits that go beyond solar to the surrounding environment and communities.”

“We place huge value on the communities we engage with during the consultation process.

“We are grateful for the engagement and feedback we have had on our proposals over the last three years.

“We are delighted to now present the developed proposals which the communities surrounding the site have played an important role in shaping.”

Drop-in sessions will also take place for members of the public to find out more and discuss the proposals.

Plas Pentwyn Community Centre, Castle Road, Coedpoeth, LL11 3NU, on;

  • Wednesday 13 March, 12pm to 4pm
  • Thursday 14 March, 9.30am to 1pm

Rhostyllen Parish Hall, Vicarage Hill, Rhostyllen, LL14 4AR, on;

  • Thursday 14 March, 2:30pm to 6:30pm

The draft Environmental Statement; Planning, Design and Access Statement; and other application documents as well as an online feedback form will be available at the project website

The deadline for comments is Tuesday 9 April.

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