Plans have been submitted to build a solar power site on land at Hamer in Somerley.

The “renewable led energy generating station” comprises a 23MW ground-mounted solar photovoltaic solar array with substation and inverter/transformer.

A design and access statement submitted with the plans said: “The proposed development responds to the government’s support for solar energy by providing a greater renewable energy supply that would reduce carbon emissions and assist in establishing a diversity of energy sources in the UK. The biodiversity of the site would also be significantly improved.”

The site is made up of four parcels of agricultural land, which are currently used for grazing, and is accessed from Harbridge Drove.

The statement says that the development is “anticipated to generate approximately 23,566 MWh per year (after anticipated system losses)” and adds: “This is the equivalent of 5,802 New Forest district homes (4,062kWh/pa/household) and displacement of 8,436 t/CO2 compared with conventional fossil fuel generation sources.”

The site would have rows of solar photovoltaic panels. There will be inverter and transformer stations within shipping containers, as well as one substation and one switchroom, connected by underground cables. The statement also said that the design would “respect the character of the landscape and use the strong field boundaries to integrate the scheme into the landscape as far as practicable” and existing landscape features would be “protected and strengthened.”

It adds that “all trees and hedgerows on/around the site would be retained and additional planting provided, where necessary, to fill gaps in the existing boundary planting”.

The design, the plans say, would also allow for the option of “low intensity grazing” of livestock.

It also said: “Following decommission of the modules, the proposal is fully reversible and as there are no significant changes made to the land in terms of earth removal or levelling, there will be no constraints on returning the site to its current condition.”

To view or comment on the plans go to New Forest District Council website, (reference 20/11073).