Soay Solar Park and Greener Grid Projects

The Soay Solar and Greener Grid Park is an innovative project proposed for a 370 acre site between the villages of Allerthorpe and Thornton, that will secure East Yorkshire’s position at the forefront of renewable energy generation while helping to mitigate the effects of global climate change.

The project represents an investment in the region of £125m by Statkraft – Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy.

The Soay Solar Park consists of a series of photovoltaic panels that convert the sun’s energy into electricity. The site has been specially selected because is flat, at a low risk of flooding, represents only moderate quality agricultural land, is not in a conservation area and is in the optimum position to absorb the sun’s energy.

Once operational, it is estimated to generate enough electricity to power approximately 18,500 homes.

With an increasing amount of renewables on the GB Grid, Statkraft are leading in the delivery of grid stability services which are required to replace those traditionally provided by fossil fuel generators. For the first time Statkraft have proposed one of their innovative Greener Grid Parks alongside the solar project at Soay. Although a separate project, the Greener Grid Park is an intrinsic part of ensuring that renewable energy generated is fully utilised by the National Grid, helping to decarbonise the UK’s electrical network.


To find out more about the Soay Solar Park and the Greener Grid Park, check out our FAQs, register for email updates, or feel free to get in touch.

This website will be kept updated over the development period to keep you informed and to hear your views and ideas.

The Soay Solar and Greener Grid Park is an innovative project proposed for a 370 acre site between the villages of Allerthorpe and Thornton, that will secure East Yorkshire’s position at the forefront of renewable energy generation while helping to mitigate the effects of global climate change.

The project represents an investment in the region of £125m by Statkraft – Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy.

The Soay Solar Park consists of a series of photovoltaic panels that convert the sun’s energy into electricity. The site has been specially selected because is flat, at a low risk of flooding, represents only moderate quality agricultural land, is not in a conservation area and is in the optimum position to absorb the sun’s energy.

Once operational, it is estimated to generate enough electricity to power approximately 18,500 homes.

With an increasing amount of renewables on the GB Grid, Statkraft are leading in the delivery of grid stability services which are required to replace those traditionally provided by fossil fuel generators. For the first time Statkraft have proposed one of their innovative Greener Grid Parks alongside the solar project at Soay. Although a separate project, the Greener Grid Park is an intrinsic part of ensuring that renewable energy generated is fully utilised by the National Grid, helping to decarbonise the UK’s electrical network.


To find out more about the Soay Solar Park and the Greener Grid Park, check out our FAQs, register for email updates, or feel free to get in touch.

This website will be kept updated over the development period to keep you informed and to hear your views and ideas.

  • Soay Solar Farm and Greener Grid Park – working together for a sustainable future

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    The Soay Solar Farm and Greener Grid Park are often talked about in the same breath, but whereas they are certainly complimentary, they are in fact, different projects.

    Sitting side by side on land between Thornton and Allerthorpe, the Soay Solar Farm and Greener Grid Park will strengthen East Yorkshire’s status as a region at the forefront of renewable energy production.

    They are being presented as a single project for the purposes of consultation, primarily because they will be located next to each other, and they are complimentary in our objective of making energy provision more sustainable.

    However, they are standalone projects with different functions.

    Here, we will take a closer look at the developments in turn, so interested parties can get a clearer understanding of both.

    Soay Solar Farm

    The Soay Solar Farm is, as the name suggests, a solar farm. It consists of photovoltaic panels that absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity.

    The great thing about generating electricity in this way is it is comparatively much quieter than other technologies.

    The Soay Solar Farm is estimated to generate electricity equivalent to the needs of around 18,500 homes.

    The agricultural land used is only of average quality, but small livestock such as sheep will still be able to graze among the solar panels.

    The site has been selected because it is relatively flat, is at low risk of flooding, has good solar irradiation, is close to an electrical transmission network, and does not have designated conservation status.

    The renewable electricity generated will be exported to the National Grid where it will be used to power the UK’s homes and businesses.

    Greener Grid Park

    The role of the Greener Grid Park is to increase the amount of renewable energy transmitted through the National Grid.

    Our grid must be adapted to the rapid progress that renewable energy has made in the UK. Sometimes it's been necessary to shut down renewable projects such as wind farms and operate gas power plants to keep the grid stable. Projects such as our Greener Grid Parks will make this a thing of the past. The rotating stabiliser does the job without emitting greenhouse gases.

    The Greener Grid Park utilises innovative technology combined with large, built-in flywheels to stabilise the provision of renewable electricity to the National Grid. It stores energy if there is too much and provides energy when there is too little (e.g. the sun isn’t shining). It does this without emitting any Greenhouse Gases, enabling it to help decarbonise energy supply - National Grid ESO also point out that it saves consumers money at the same time. The Greener Grid Park will connect directly with the national electricity network via the substation at Thornton, avoiding the need for further infrastructure development or long, underground, connection wires. Find out more about how Greener Grid Parks work.

    Lucy Kent, Senior Project Manager of Soay Solar Farm and the Greener Grid Park, said: “We recognise there may be some confusion over whether the projects are part of the same development or two independent projects.”

    “Whereas they are different projects, they are very complimentary with solar generating renewable electricity and the Greener Grid Park ensuring local renewable generation can be fully utilised via the National Grid.”


  • Out of sight, out of mind – the green revolution you might not even notice!

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    As a passive process, solar energy generation is one of the quietest ways to create renewable electricity and with extensive screening proposed for the Soay Solar Farm and the Greener Grid Park, we are committed to ensuring the developments impact on people’s lives in a positive way.

    As Europe’s largest renewable energy provider, we understand that people living in the vicinity of a proposed new development might have concerns about the level of noise the project will generate, as well as the impact it will have on the local landscape.

    At Statkraft, we take these concerns very seriously, understanding that our neighbours are also stakeholders, and that we need to do everything we can to ensure these concerns are addressed.

    That’s why we build in steps to ensure we minimise the noise and visual impact of our developments from the very start. Where some impact is unavoidable, our mitigation strategies ensure it is kept at an acceptable level.

    Project Director, Charlotte Healey, explains: “When we announce a new project, we know people will have concerns about how it will impact on the area in which they live”.

    Charlotte added: “With a lifespan of around 35 – 40 years, we want to ensure we are good neighbours to the communities of Thornton and Allerthorpe, and beyond. This means taking our responsibilities to manage the impact of the Soay Solar Farm and Greener Grid Park on the local area very seriously – something we are working very hard to do.”

    Noise

    This commitment is demonstrated in the form of technology that underpins electricity generation at Soay Solar Farm.

    Producing sustainable electricity from the sun’s energy is essentially a passive process. It does not involve machines with moving parts, but instead relies on the sun shining on photovoltaic cells, and then converting that energy into electricity.

    So, where there will be some noise during the construction phase of the development, once operational, the solar farm will generate sustainable electricity, day and night, to the soundtrack of nature.

    For our Greener Grid Parks, we work closely with experienced noise consultants to reduce any noise impacts. This will be detailed in the planning application documents.

    Visual impact

    Visual impact can be another concern for local residents.

    The solar panels used in projects such as the Soay Solar Farm stand just three meters high, meaning they can be easily screened by hedges and trees.

    As part of the proposed development, we will plant new native hedges and trees to reinforce the existing green network, screen the development, and increase site biodiversity.

    Also, to further minimise the visual impact of the development, the Greener Grid Park building will be painted a colour that blends in with its surroundings - we’re working with East Riding of Yorkshire Council on what that colour will be.

    Statkraft is developing both the Solar and Greener Grid Park aspects with the aim of delivering a significant 'net gain’ in biodiversity, and to improve soil quality in the long term. The is predicted to deliver a 116% biodiversity net gain to the site.

  • Behind "Soay" - supporting diversity in farming

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    Through this project, we are proud to be supporting the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. This project is named after the Soay breed, classified as "At Risk" on the sheep watchlist.

    The Rare Breeds Survival Trust fight for a healthier and more diverse natural environment, by ensuring that native and rare breeds of farmed animals such as sheep, cattle and pigs survive and thrive.

    We think this is a fitting way to demonstrate how new and traditional methods of farming can work together.

  • New website launched for Thornton Solar Farm

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    A website has been launched today to share details of an exciting new renewable energy project near Thornton, East Riding of Yorkshire.

    A Solar Farm is proposed to generate renewable electricity, and a Greener Grid Park as a separate application nearby to help stabilise the grid, allowing more renewable energy to be transmitted through the network.

    Although the two projects could be installed and operate separately, they are presented together to the public for the purposes of local consultation, which runs from 20 March to 12 April 2021. The projects would be submitted as separate planning applications to the East Riding of Yorkshire District Council.

    Charlotte Healey, Project Director for Soay Solar said "Improvements in solar technology mean that an increasing amount of England is suitable, including Yorkshire. We estimate this project could generate electricity equivalent to the needs of approximately 18,500 homes".

    Lucy Kent, Project Manager for the Greener Grid Park proposal, located adjacent to the Thornton substation, said "This is a vital project that will help the UK achieve its target of zero carbon emissions by 2050. This new technology will mean GB's energy system will be able to handle increasing amounts of renewable energy without relying on coal and gas fired turbines."

    Local communities and businesses are encouraged to complete the online feedback form and register for news updates.

Page last updated: 01 September 2021, 13:56