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Llanwern showcases the positive impact of enhanced environmental and social considerations in the project design and implementation

Llanwern has a total installed capacity of 75MWp and it is currently the largest solar PV plant in operation in the UK.  It is located in Newport, Wales, in an area that is subject to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designation.  A large proportion of SSSI reens and ditches were reported to be in unfavourable condition. This situation created a chance to incorporate conservation measures aimed at enhancing the site’s crucial features, alongside implementing sustainable long-term management and monitoring practices.

Considering the level of environmental protection, a robust environmental impact assessment was undertaken to facilitate the achievement of nature-positive outcomes.

The plant was also designed to ensure that clean energy generation is synergistic with biodiversity improvement. Accordingly, enhanced ESG considerations and commitments were integral part of the development process and then embedded in the project’s permits.

Additional benefits

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Dedicated areas enhanced for lapwing, shrill carder bee and common crane.

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The land will maintain its agricultural function through the grazing of sheep.

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The site requires only infrequent vehicle maintenance visits by operation and maintenance contractor.

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An integrated battery storage area to cover the optional incorporation of a battery.

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The site contributes to the UK and Wales’ renewable energy and carbon reduction objectives.

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The development places no additional pressure on local infrastructure, such as roads or the drainage network.

wildlife corridors

Wildlife corridors will be established alongside water features to augment the connectivity of the Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) features.

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CO2 Emissions avoided forecast: 26.1ktCO2e per year.

The site and adjoining areas have been subject to extensive ecological survey work, including birds and invertebrates. These results have helped to shape the design and enabled a comprehensive mitigation, enhancement and monitoring scheme to be delivered. The proposals seek to enhance local biodiversity by creating large areas of undisturbed land free from intensive agriculture and implementing conservation-led management to benefit the special features of the SSSI.


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