Overview

Tillbridge Solar is a proposed project located on land to south, east and south east of Gainsborough and to the north west of Lincoln. The electricity generated from the project would then connect to National Grid’s Cottam substation in Nottinghamshire.

 

 

Tillbridge Solar has secured a Bilateral Connection Agreement (BCA) with National Grid to allow 500MW of renewable energy to be transferred in to and out of their substation. We are now working to refine our proposals to ensure the project can generate as much energy as possible in line with this agreement.
The name ‘Tillbridge’ pays tribute to Lincolnshire’s Roman heritage, and specifically Tillbridge Lane that linked Lincoln with the River Trent. It represented a major route that travellers took when travelling from Lincoln to other northern locations. Tillbridge Lane exists today, linking the A15 to the east and the A156 to the west.

Location

Our plans for Tillbridge Solar are still at an early stage.

To date, we have identified the following areas, as shown in the map below:

  • Developable areas These areas would be where all solar PV panels and associated infrastructure would be located. This area sits on approximately 1,000 hectares of predominantly agricultural land. An energy storage solution could also be located on site, which would provide an opportunity to store solar power which is not immediately required and then release it when it is needed. We are also proposing mitigation/enhancement measures within and at the edge of these developable areas.
  • Non-developable areas These areas are being considered for mitigation and enhancement, such as tree planting and habitat creation, which would provide significant biodiversity net gain. This area amounts to an additional 400 hectares, with no permanent infrastructure planned in these areas.
  • Cable corridor search area – Our underground cable corridor would be approximately 16km in length and would connect Tillbridge Solar to National Grid’s Cottam substation. This corridor typically varies in width (between 35m in some places to over 100m in others) and will be made narrower as the project progresses.The final trench would typically be 3.5m in width and 2m in depth. Land would be reinstated back to its previous condition once the cable is laid and we anticipate that farming activities will be able to continue.

Our early stage engagement with key stakeholders, including local representatives, near neighbours and landowners, along with our initial environment surveys and design work has helped shape our initial plans in these areas. We are now continuing this work and will be presenting a more detailed design for the project during our statutory consultation at the start of next year.

Our site
selection so far

In the early stages of the project, we identified an initial area of search for the location for a proposed solar energy farm which could generate more than 50MW of electricity in the east of England. The east of England was chosen due to the availability of grid connections, and irradiance.

This initial desk-based assessment then excluded land that was constrained by planning, environmental and geographical constraints. The exercise resulted in the identification of potential solar development zones. Further evaluation of these zones was then undertaken to determine areas suitable for solar development that were least sensitive.
This included consideration of previously developed land, lower grade agricultural land, ecology and biodiversity, landscape and visual consideration, the historic environment and access/transport considerations.
This work has led to the identification of land to the east and south-east of Gainsborough, where we are currently exploring the best possible site location through further desk-based and site-based work.
We are continuing to carry out a range of environmental studies and landscape and visual analysis to further shape and define our plans. This work, together with our early-stage engagement, has helped define suitable areas for development (shown as developable areas), and mitigation and enhancement (shown as non-developable areas), along with an initial search area for the project’s underground cable corridor.
As we refine our proposals, we will continue to consider a series of environmental and planning factors, including key landscape and views, sensitive nearby features, cumulative impacts (of different environmental effect of the project and other planning and solar developments), proximity to Public Rights of Way, heritage assets and conservation areas. This initial information will be presented in the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Report. More detailed information on our environmental studies will also be available in our Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (PEIR), which we will consult on during our statutory consultation, planned for early 2023.

Our vision

Our vision for Tillbridge Solar is to deliver cleaner, greener, and lower cost energy, while also enhancing the local environment and ensuring we are a responsible developer.

Our objectives are to:

Build a solar farm that will contribute to the UK’s zero-carbon future and support Lincolnshire’s transition to Net Zero.
Provide equivalent energy needs for around 200,000 households with low-cost energy, generated in the UK at a time of great uncertainty within the energy market.
Increase biodiversity and enhance existing ecology, to achieve Biodiversity Net Gain and maximise opportunities to create new habitats for wildlife.
Develop a project in a responsible and considerate way, including collaboration with other local developers.
Provide opportunities for community involvement from an early stage.
Ensure local landscape is central to the project’s design.
Provide opportunities for local communities and the local economy.
PLANNING