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About us

Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd is proposing to develop a solar park on the north Kent coast. Cleve Hill Solar Park would generate renewable power through photovoltaic panels, providing clean power to UK homes.

Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd is a joint venture formed by two solar industry specialists – Hive Energy Ltd and Wirsol Energy Ltd.

Founded in 2010, Hive Energy has established itself as the second largest developer of solar parks in the UK, responsible for the installation of 300 Megawatts (MW) of capacity across the country and providing enough clean electricity for over 100,000 homes.

Wirsol is a highly experienced solar park developer, constructor and operator across the UK and Australia. Combining the installation of world-class components and the implementation of rigorous operation and maintenance processes, Wirsol have both built and operate 24 solar parks across the UK. Their success has been underpinned by the formation of long-lasting relationships with local communities and investors.

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Introducing the proposals

We are proposing to develop Cleve Hill Solar Park on the north Kent coast. The project could have a generating capacity exceeding 350MW. This would be enough to power approximately 110,000 homes a year. roughly the equivalent number of households for the Swale and Canterbury Districts combined.

Cleve Hill Solar Park would require electrical connection infrastructure and a substation, which we intend to connect to the existing National Grid substation. Adjoining the site is a large 150/400kV electricity substation, which serves the London Array offshore wind farm beyond the mouth of the Thames Estuary to the north. Eight 400kV pylons and power lines currently cross the site.

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Benefits of the Solar Park

•  Cleve Hill Solar Park has the potential to power 110,000 UK homes.

•  This project is non-subsidised so will not receive government funding.

•  Over £1 million of income will be generated per year for Kent and Swale to invest in improving local services.

•  Cleve Hill Solar Park could save 150,500 tonnes of CO2. This is equivalent 29,400 cars.

•  A dedicated mitigation area is proposed for bird species including Lapwing, Brent Goose, Golden Plover and Marsh Harrier.

•  Option for onsite battery storage technology.

 

FAQ's

What is Cleve Hill Solar Park?

The proposed Cleve Hill Solar Park is a solar photovoltaic park on the north Kent coast which will have a generating capacity which could exceed 350 megawatts (MW). If built, it will generate clean, renewable energy for approximately 110,000 homes a year, which is approximately the number of households in the Swale and Canterbury Districts combined.

The proposed site is located 2km northeast of Faversham, 5km west of Whitstable to the northwest of the village of Graveney. Our ambition is to deliver a scheme that helps to address national and local electricity needs by generating an affordable and renewable source of clean energy.

Due to the capacity of the solar park exceeding 50MW, the project is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).

What is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project?

Due to the capacity of the solar park exceeding 50MW, the project is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).

The development consenting regime for NSIP projects comes under the Planning Act 2008 and the application process is known as the Development Consent Order or ‘DCO’.  DCO applications must be made to the Planning Inspectorate who in the case of energy related development acts on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Any final consent award is granted by the Secretary of State for BEIS, which is currently Greg Clark.

DCO applications cannot be determined by the local authority, although the local authorities are involved throughout the planning process and do maintain an important role during the DCO application process. The local authority is the responsible planning authority post-consent of the project.

Why do we need Cleve Hill Solar Park?

A quarter of the UK’s generating capacity is due to close by 2018 so a new mix of electricity generation is needed to keep the lights on. Also, with the UK’s climate change ambitions being amongst the highest in Europe, we will need to significantly increase our renewable energy growth without jeopardising electricity supply, or increasing costs for consumers.

The proposed Cleve Hill Solar Park is a pioneering scheme, which aims to apply private sector innovation without requiring government subsidies. Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd is proposing to use battery storage technologies, which would store any excess solar power and distribute it to the grid when it’s needed the most.

How will the local area benefit?

The Cleve Hill Solar Park could bring £27.25 million investment to Swale and Kent over a minimum period of 25 years. As a significant local business, Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd will be contributing substantial business rates on an annual basis to the local councils. Based on current estimates of the potential generation capacity of Cleve Hill Solar Park, the revenue generated for Kent and Swale councils will be in excess of £1 million.

What will be included in Cleve Hill Solar Park?

Proposals for the Solar Park include a solar array, which will provide electricity to the national grid to power UK homes. The solar panels will have an East West layout in order to maximise the output of the solar farm throughout the day.

There will be electrical connection infrastructure to connect the solar park to the Cleve Hill Substation. This is situated adjacent to the proposed solar park.

It is proposed to include an energy storage solution, so that Cleve Hill Solar Park can store the Sun’s power and distribute it to the grid when it is needed the most.

Land will be provided for ecological mitigation and enhancement, with particular consideration to bird species.

Why more solar power?

Our goal is to make Cleve Hill Solar Park the lowest cost generator of energy in the UK. At over 350MW, Cleve Hill Solar Park could provide enough affordable and clean electricity to power over 110,000 homes. 

This is also at a time when a quarter of the UK's generating capacity is due to close, and more renewable energy generation is needed to achieve the UK's goals of reducing our carbon emissions by 80%.

We also plan to use battery storage to help ensure that energy is fed into the grid at the time when it is most needed.

To find out more visit the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy website and download the Government's Industrial Strategy here.

To learn more about the Government's clean growth ambitions, download the Government's Clean Growth Strategy here.

The final design and scale of our project will have regard to several environmental and technical variables alongside feedback received from consultation and the findings of our environmental impact assessment.

 

Consultation

Cleve Hill Solar Park is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) as it is proposed to have a generating capacity exceeding 50MW. We will be applying for a Development Consent Order (DCO) through the Planning Inspectorate. The application will be determined by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

A DCO application is planned to be submitted in summer 2018. Prior to this we will be commencing an extensive series of public and statutory consultations on our plans for the scheme.

 
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Our formal consultation

 Information Poster

Information Poster

Our formal Phase Two community consultation will begin on Thursday 31 May 2018 and end on Friday 13 July 2018. Throughout this period, we will be welcoming your comments and feedback to our latest proposals for Cleve Hill Solar Park.

We invite you to our formal Phase Two community consultation events taking place on:

  • Wednesday 13 June from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, at Ferry House Inn, Harty Ferry Road, Harty, ME12 4BQ
  • Thursday 14 June from 1.30pm to 8pm, at Graveney Village Hall, Graveney, Faversham, ME13 9DN
  • Friday 15 June from 11am to 4pm, at Seasalter Christian Centre, Seasalter, Faversham Road, Whitstable, CT5 4AX
  • Saturday 16 June from 11am to 5.30pm, at Faversham Guildhall, 8 Market Place, Faversham, ME13 7AG

Phase Two consultation events

Our consultation events will give you the opportunity to view our full suite of consultation materials on the detailed proposals for Cleve Hill Solar Park. These consultation materials will include:

  • Copies of our Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) on display
  •  Copies of our non-technical PEIR to take away
  • Display boards of the latest project information
  • Photomontages showing visualisations of the proposals from various viewpoints
  •  Plans for improved local amenities including additional permissive pathways and a community orchard

How you can provide feedback:

You can send your feedback on the proposals between 31 May and 13 July via:

  •  Our feedback form: available online, at our events, in the post and at our CAP sites.
  •  Emailing us at our dedicated email address info@clevehillsolar.com
  • Writing to us by post at FREEPOST: Cleve Hill Solar

Community Access Points (CAP sites)

All of our consultation materials will be available at our events and can also be accessed online and via our CAP sites from 31 May until 13 July.

Our CAP site locations are outlined in our Statement of Community Consultation and are as follows:

  • Kent County Council, County Hall, Maidstone, ME14 1XQ
    Opening hours Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
  •  Canterbury City Council, Military Road, CT1 1YW
    Opening hours Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
  • Swale Borough Council, Swale House, East St, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 3HT
    Opening hours Monday-Thursday 8.45am-5pm, Friday 8.45am-4.30pm
  • Swale Borough Council, Alexander Centre, 15-17 Preston Street, Faversham, Kent, ME13 8NZ
    Opening hours Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
  • Swale Borough Council,Sheppey Gateway, 38-42 High Street, Sheerness, Kent, ME12 1NL
    Opening hours Monday-Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday 9am-5pm
  • Faversham Library, Newton Rd, Faversham ME13 8DY
    Opening hours Monday-Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday 9am-5pm
  • Teynham Library, 131 London Rd, Teynham, Sittingbourne ME9 9QJ
    Opening hours Monday 2pm-5pm, Tuesday 9.30am-12pm, Wednesday 2pm-5pm, Thursday 9.30am-12pm, Saturday 9am-1pm
  • Boughton-under-Blean Library, School Lane, Faversham ME13 9AW
    Opening hours Tuesday 10am-4pm, Friday 2pm-4pm, Saturday 9am-12pm.

If you have any special requirements for attending our events, receiving our materials or providing your feedback, please contact us directly.

 

News

Our Phase Two consultation period is now open. It will end on Friday 13 July 2018

Throughout this period, we will be welcoming your comments and feedback to our latest proposals for Cleve Hill Solar Park.

We invite you to our formal Phase Two community consultation events taking place on:

  • Wednesday 13 June from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, at Ferry House Inn, Harty Ferry Road, Harty, ME12 4BQ
  • Thursday 14 June from 1.30pm to 8pm, at Graveney Village Hall, Graveney, Faversham, ME13 9DN
  • Friday 15 June from 11am to 4pm, at Seasalter Christian Centre, Seasalter, Faversham Road, Whitstable, CT5 4AX
  • Saturday 16 June from 11am to 5.30pm, at Faversham Guildhall, 8 Market Place, Faversham, ME13 7AG

Our consultation events will give you the opportunity to view our full suite of consultation materials on the detailed proposals for Cleve Hill Solar Park. These consultation materials will include:

  • Copies of our Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) on display
  •  Copies of our non-technical PEIR to take away
  • Display boards of the latest project information
  • Photomontages showing visualisations of the proposals from various viewpoints
  •  Plans for improved local amenities including additional permissive pathways and a community orchard

We have produced a Community Newsletter including the latest project news, and the consultation dates for our Phase Two consultation.

This consultation period will begin on begin on Thursday 31 May and finish on Friday 13 July. Throughout this period, we will be welcoming your comments and feedback via the information lines overleaf.

We welcome you to attend our Phase Two consultation events which will be held in June 2018.

These events will be an opportunity to view how our proposals have developed and provide your views.

  • Wednesday 13 June from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, at Ferry House Inn, Harty Ferry Road, Harty, ME12 4BQ
  • Thursday 14 June from 1.30pm to 8pm, at Graveney Village Hall, Graveney, Faversham, ME13 9DN
  • Friday 15 June from 11am to 4pm, at Seasalter Christian Centre, Seasalter, Faversham Road, Whitstable, CT5 4AX
  • Saturday 16 June from 11am to 5.30pm, at Faversham Guildhall, 8 Market Place, Faversham, ME13 7AG

Please see our downloads section, or click here, to read this newsletter.


In recent weeks we’ve been meeting key stakeholders in the area to update them on what we’ve been doing in response to the feedback which we received on our proposals.

On Thursday 22 February, we held a briefing with local elected representatives at Graveney Village Hall. This meeting was an opportunity to update them on the feedback which we received in December 2017, and to present and discuss the amendments to the project design which are currently being considered as a result.

On Wednesday 21 February, we also held the first meeting of the Habitat Management Steering Group, with representatives from Kent Wildlife Trust, RSPB and Natural England. This forum has been established to help all aspects of ecology and ornithology on site and provides the opportunity to discuss and develop habitat improvement and mitigation proposals.

As a result of these meetings, as well as our ongoing consultation with other key stakeholders, we’ve produced an updated FAQs document to answer some of the questions and concerns which people have raised. Please see our downloads section, or click here, to read these FAQs.


Following our first phase consultation events we have issued a summary report of our first round of consultation, which is available to download here.

We welcomed over 500 people to the events we held between 4 and 8 December across Sheppey, Faversham, Graveney and Seasalter. 

A full report of all comments will be included in the final Consultation Report, which is to be submitted with the final planning application. In order to comply with data protection laws, all feedback forms will be redacted before being submitted with the application. 

Ahead of the next phase of public consultation, to be held in Spring, the project team are working to undertake the environmental and technical assessments required as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process. This includes a residential visual amenity assessment, where members of our team will be meeting with neighbours and undertaking photography in the local area. This is to understand and show the views of the proposed solar park from different residential locations.


Our goal is to make Cleve Hill Solar Park the lowest cost generator of energy in the UK. At over 350MW, Cleve Hill Solar Park could provide enough affordable and clean electricity to power over 110,000 homes. 

This is also at a time when a quarter of the UK's generating capacity is due to close, and more renewable energy generation is needed to achieve the UK's goals of reducing our carbon emissions by 80%.

We also plan to use battery storage to help ensure that energy is fed into the grid at the time when it is most needed.

To find out more visit the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy website and download the Government's Industrial Strategy here.

To learn more about the Government's clean growth ambitions, download the Government's Clean Growth Strategy here.

The final design and scale of our project will have regard to several environmental and technical variables alongside feedback received from consultation and the findings of our environmental impact assessment.


The Phase One consultation period for the Cleve Hill Solar Park is now open.

Please come along to one of our public events in the area to view the plans in more detail, talk to members of the team, and provide us with your comments and feedback on the proposals. 

The events will be held on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 5 December from 5pm to 8pm, at Sheppey Evangelical Church, Warden Bay Road, Leysdown ME12 4NA
  • Wednesday 6 December from 11.30am to 7.30pm, at Faversham Assembly Rooms, 66 Preston St Faversham ME13 8PG
  • Thursday 7 December from 1.30pm to 8pm, at Graveney Villlage Hall, Graveney, Faversham ME13 9DN
  • Friday 8 December from 12.30pm to 4.30pm, at Seasalter Christian Centre, Faversham Road, Whitstable, CT5 4AX

Please note that the deadline for feedback during our first phase of consultation is Friday 22 December 2017. 


The government recently released its Clean Growth Energy Strategy, outlining how it sets out to cut UK emissions while keeping costs to consumers and businesses down. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/clean-growth-strategy


Get in touch

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to find out more information about Cleve Hill Solar Park and our associated consultation programme. You can contact our Community Relations Team and find out more by using the details below. 

Email: info@clevehillsolar.com

Freephone: 0800 328 2850

Freepost: Cleve Hill Solar

Online: www.clevehillsolar.com

Twitter: @clevehillsolar

 

Should you require any documents in large print, audio or braille then please contact us at the details provided.