St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, has been granted planning consent to create a photovoltaic park at its Baglan Bay site in Port Talbot. The application, approved by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, is the first link to a comprehensive regeneration scheme on brownfield land and will cost approximately £15 million to construct.
The plans propose that 30 acres of the Baglan Bay development will house over 21,000 photovoltaic panels which will generate 5 megawatts of power, enough to provide electricity for over 1,200 homes per year. Plans depend on the outcome of a current government review into the Feed In Tariffs (FITs) scheme, but the park can be built within a three to four month period once security on the FIT scheme has been clarified by the Government.
Rupert Joseland, St. Modwen’s South Wales and South West Regional Director, said: “Baglan Bay is a major regeneration project to transform over 500 acres of disused brownfield land into a new employment site with the potential of creating thousands of jobs locally and this approval marks another important step forward in our redevelopment plans for the site.
“The park will be developed across 30 acres of brownfield land and will feature solar cell panels that produce renewable energy with no emissions. The plans would enable disused brownfield land to contribute positively to the regeneration of the area so it is disappointing that we may be delayed by the Government’s review into FITs, especially when we could be using the summer months to generate clean energy from the site.”
• 30 acres of the Baglan Bay development will house around 21,000 photovoltaic panels, which will generate 5 megawatts of power, enough to provide enough electricity for over 1,200 homes per year.
• St. Modwen works with Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and the Countryside Council for Wales to minimise any impact of any development work on the natural environment at Baglan Bay.
• The construction work will be carried out in a responsible way to ensure the protection of wildlife and natural habitats at the site.
• St. Modwen makes a commitment to sustainability, carbon reduction and development of renewable energy technologies across all of the South Wales and UK-wide sites.
St. Modwen’s proposed photovoltaic park is part of a comprehensive regeneration strategy in South West Wales:
• Baglan Bay forms part of a larger linked development in South West Wales comprising over 3,000 acres and which incorporates the other disused South Wales sites within BP’s portfolio. The linked development will focus on three areas – Housing, Employment and Education as follows:
o Housing (Coed Darcy) – the 1,060 acre former Llandarcy oil refinery which St. Modwen is currently transforming into the £1.2 billion Coed Darcy with 4,000 homes.
o Employment (Baglan Bay) – the 500 acre Baglan Bay site is earmarked to provide over 6 million sq ft of employment space.
o Education (Transit site) – This site is earmarked for the c. £400 million Swansea University second campus which recently received support from the Welsh Assembly Government.
WHY BAGLAN BAY?
• In addition to forming an integral part of the energy strategy for this linked development, Baglan Bay provides all the right conditions for a photovoltaic park:
o Situated in an area that does not impact the public
o Brownfield land is of a lower land value (i.e. the scheme’s viability is subsidised by using land at a lower price)
o Good exposure to sunlight/ daylight
o The coastal microclimate is ideal for cooling the panels
o Security levels are high on site.