How can we help?

To help answer any questions you may have about our proposals, please see our frequently asked questions below.

Alternatively, you can contact us directly.

About Solar

Is the UK sunny enough for solar to be effective?

Solar can already produce as much as 30% of the UK’s electricity at different points throughout the year, and in 2020, solar provided more than 4% of the UK’s total energy supply.

One of the advantages of solar energy is its versatility across all regions of the UK. Solar panels do not require direct sunlight to function and can generate power consistently throughout the year, even on cloudier days. Moreover, the reliability of solar power is bolstered by the ability to accurately predict sunlight hours for each day, facilitating precise forecasts of solar energy generation.

Onsite battery storage will allow us to store and export energy during peak times, even after the sun has gone down.

Can’t we put solar panels on rooftops instead?

As one of the most cost-effective forms of clean and renewable energy, solar power is poised to experience a fivefold surge in capacity by 2050, as outlined in the Government’s Energy Security Strategy (2022). To keep on track with the UK’s ambition to be net zero by 2050, the Government is aiming for a combined 70 gigawatts (GW) of ground-mounted and rooftop solar capacity by 20351.

However, the 70GW ambition will not be achieved through rooftop solar alone, as few rooftops are ideal for solar power generation. For a rooftop solar panel to generate electricity, it must be south facing (or at least south-east or south-west), it must have at least 20 square metres of clear roof space and the roof cannot be too shallow or steep.

1 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/powering-up-britain/powering-up-britain-energy-security-plan#delivery-timelines

Does the use of arable land for solar farms reduce food security?

The Independent National Food Strategy Review, which looks at the entire food chain from field to fork, concluded that solar farms do not in any way pose a risk to the UK’s food security2.

According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), climate change could reduce the UK’s stock of high-grade agricultural land by nearly three-quarters by 2050. A report by DEFRA confirmed that the biggest threat to the UK’s food security is Climate Change3. Solar farms generate near zero-carbon electricity and thus help to tackle the issue of climate change.

Solar farms provide valuable income for farmers, they can still be used for grazing, and can support UK farmers to continue food production on other parts of their land. Therefore, solar farms have a key role to play in helping to improve the UK’s food security by addressing climate change and safeguarding the UK’s stock of high-grade agricultural land.

2https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/united-kingdom-food-security-report-2021/united-kingdom-food-securityreport-2021-theme-2-uk-food-supply-sources#united-kingdom-food-security-report-2021-theme2-indicator-2-1-1

3https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1077015/United_Kingdom_Food_Security_Report_2021_19may2022.pdf

Are solar panels recyclable?

Solar panels are made of a frame (typically aluminium), glass, crystalline silicon solar cells, and copper wiring, all of which can be extracted, separated, and recycled or reused.

Proposals for Peartree Hill

What is a DCO and how does the process work?

As Peartree Hill will generate more than 50MW of power, it is classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and will proceed through the Development Consent Order (DCO) planning process.

The DCO process provides a dedicated framework specifically designed to address the complexities associated with large, complex energy projects (as well as other project types).

Applications for DCOs are examined independently by the Planning Inspectorate. Following an Examination of the project, the Planning Inspectorate will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, who will decide on the outcome of the application.

As the host authority, East Riding of Yorkshire Council will be a statutory consultee for the application and will play an important role in shaping aspects of the project. RWE is committed to working closely with the Council, along with local Parish Councils and statutory consultees such as the Environment Agency. As part of this commitment, we will exhibit a proactive approach to taking onboard feedback and incorporating comments.

The DCO process is a comprehensive and structured planning procedure, ensuring that all aspects of the development are meticulously scrutinised. This process involves several stages:

Further information on the DCO process can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/.

Updates about Peartree Hill Solar Farm will be posted on the Planning Inspectorate’s website: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/yorkshire-and-the-humber/peartree-hill-solar-farm/?ipcsection=overview

What is the timeframe for construction?

The construction period for Peartree Hill is estimated to be around 18-34 months, with a phased approach.

What will the local impacts of construction be?

As part of the Development Consent Order (DCO) process, RWE will investigate any potential local impacts as a result of the construction and will propose measures to mitigate them if necessary. A Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) will be developed as part of the DCO application to outline how construction activities will be managed throughout the construction process. We will also prepare a Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP).

How long would Peartree Hill Solar Farm be operational?

The typical lifetime of a solar farm is 40 years. After which it is proposed that the solar development would be decommissioned, and the land would be returned to its existing condition.

Will Peartree Hill Solar Farm be publicly accessible?

The main panel areas will have a security fence around to protect the panels and associated facilities.

However, as part of the proposals for Peartree Hill, RWE is seeking to deliver a wide range of ecological enhancements and community assets.

One of the key topics of feedback from the non-statutory consultation was about integration with existing public rights of way. We have tried to incorporate this feedback into the updated plans presented at statutory consultation.

You can view the permissive paths on the maps for each Land Area:

Land Area A

Land Area B

Land Area C

Land Area D

Land Area E

Land Area F

Will Peartree Solar Farm create noise once it is built?

Any noise produced by Peartree Hill would be by the inverters, batteries or substations, which we typically place away from residential properties. The predicted noise impact of a typical solar farm is considered to be low to negligible, and non-intrusive.

We will undertake an assessment of the potential noise and vibration effects arising from both the construction and operation of Peartree Hill.

Baseline noise survey information from existing background levels will be utilised to understand the existing noise climate within the surrounding area. Noise sensitive receptor locations have been identified and agreed with East Riding of Yorkshire Council as part of the EIA Scoping.

Good design and high-quality infrastructure will serve to reduce noise from Peartree Hill at source. However, sound attenuation measures may be incorporated into the design of Peartree Hill to support noise levels to remain under acceptable limits, if required.

During construction, an appropriate Construction and Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) will restrict noise to within an acceptable level based on the location of the development.

More information can be found in the Non-Technical Summary and Chapter 12 Noise and Vibration of the PEIR.

Is battery storage safe?

Battery storage is an integral component of our plans for Peartree Hill Solar Farm. By storing excess energy during periods of peak generation or low demand and releasing it during peak demand or in case of power outages, Peartree Hill can generate a consistent and reliable renewably generated power supply.

The technology underpinning battery storage is well-established and extensively used in various facets of our daily lives. The battery units proposed for Peartree Hill have long lives, charging and discharging thousands of times.

We are committed to incorporating robust safety measures into the design, encompassing features such as self-contained units for each battery, and all equipment will be monitored, maintained, and operated in accordance with good practice and industry standards.

The details of how we intend to maintain and manage the battery storage will be comprehensively addressed in our Development Consent Order (DCO) application within the Outline Battery Safety Management Plan. This documentation will outline our strategies, protocols, and commitments, ensuring that battery storage at Peartree Hill adheres to the highest standards and contributes seamlessly to the overall success of the solar farm project.

Will the solar panels at Peartree Hill Solar Farm create glint and glare? 

As solar panels are designed to absorb sunlight, they do not have highly reflective surfaces. This stands to reason: the more light a panel absorbs, the more power it will generate. This is why the industry has developed high-tech anti-reflective coatings, and ultra-transparent glass to improve panel efficiency.

However, a Solar Photovoltaic Glint and Glare Study will be undertaken which will consider potential impacts on roads, Public Rights of Way, rail lines, residential dwellings as well as aviation. Mitigation measures will be proposed where the assessment identifies potential impacts, such as hedgerow infilling and planting to obstruct views of potentially reflecting panels.

More information can be found in Chapter 16 Glint and Glare of the PEIR.

There are lots of solar projects being proposed in and around this area, why do we need them all?

There is widespread recognition that the UK, along with the rest of the world, is in a climate emergency. The Government has outlined that solar has an important part to play in diversifying the UK’s energy mix, while reducing emissions and keeping bills low.

RWE is aware that there are several consented and proposed solar schemes in East Riding of Yorkshire and in proximity to Peartree Hill. However, with Government aiming for 70 gigawatts of ground and rooftop capacity together by 2035 to keep on track with net zero goals, there is a need to consider the feasibility of solar delivery on land in all areas of the country, even if there are already some consented and operational solar schemes in the area.

As part of the project’s Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) that will be submitted with the Development Consent Order (DCO) application, we will need to assess the potential cumulative effects of the project in combination with other development schemes in the area.

More information on cumulative impacts can be found in section 4.13 of our Non-Technical Summary.

How are the proposals for the onshore cable of the Dogger Bank South Windfarm being considered?

A section of the Dogger Bank South (DBS) onshore cable crosses through the area proposed for solar development. RWE is also developing the DBS project and discussions are ongoing to ensure both projects can avoid impacts and identify potential synergies.

Community

How can local people get involved with the application?

Our statutory consultation launched on Wednesday 15 May and will run for 6 weeks until Wednesday 26 June 2024. In this phase of consultation, we will be consulting the community on our refined proposals for Peartree Hill Solar Farm, we will have regard for all feedback received and use it as we finalise our proposals ahead of a DCO submission later this year.  

The first phase of consultation took place from Monday 9 October to Monday 6 November 2023. The feedback received at this stage, coupled with the ongoing environmental and technical surveys has played a crucial role in shaping the design of Peartree Hill. 

You can provide us with your feedback here: Have Your Say.

Will RWE listen to the views of the local community?

Public participation is a crucial part of the DCO process. Developers must conduct public consultations and give due consideration to the feedback received.

The feedback received at our non-statutory consultation, coupled with the ongoing environmental and technical surveys, has played a crucial role in shaping the design of Peartree Hill that we will are now presenting at our ‘statutory’ consultation from Wednesday 15 May – Wednesday 26 June. The feedback we receive at this stage will help us to finalise our proposals ahead of a DCO submission later this year.

You can provide us with your feedback here: Have Your Say.

How does RWE aim to contribute to the local community?

We are committed to delivering a solar farm that contributes to local and national energy goals, while also providing tangible benefits to the local community, both within the land areas and through a community benefit fund.

Our vision for Peartree Hill includes a wide range of ecological mitigation and enhancements. This includes new wildflower meadows, grassland areas and habitat creation, encouraging this area to become a haven for wildlife and local biodiversity. Through this, and new permissive paths and enhancement of existing Public Rights of Way, Peartree Hill can become a space for all to enjoy, with increased opportunity for access, transforming it into a shared communal space of wildlife, leisure and education.

Beyond the solar farm, RWE wants to give back to the local community and is committed to providing a community benefits fund that can be used to support local causes and initiatives. This community benefit fund would take the form of annual payments spread across the 40-year lifespan of the project’s operation. We will work with local community representatives to understand how this fund can be best used to meet the area’s needs and aspirations.

For more information about Community Benefits, visit the Benefits page.

Would RWE hire locally?

RWE will endeavour to find local firms and suppliers for construction activity on-site, as well as civil engineering works for the solar farm. Other opportunities for local suppliers relate to contractors for aggregates, landscaping supplies, haulage as well as plant hire. Construction staff are also likely to use local accommodation and shops/restaurants.

Once operational, the solar farm does not require any permanent staff, however, there will be a need for ongoing monitoring, cleaning, landscape maintenance and general maintenance over the course of the year.

I’ve received a letter from you saying my land may be impacted by the proposals for Peartree Hill, what does that mean?

We have recently written to those who own or have an interest in land potentially impacted by the project. This includes land in relation to the parcels of land used for solar and battery storage and the cable route, which will link Peartree Hill Solar Farm via underground cabling to Creyke Beck substation, located approximately 5.6km southwest of the most southern extent of the site.

We are currently undertaking additional desk-top research and surveys into the existing utilities, potential environmental and physical constraints in order to refine our design. If you have any questions about the letter you have received, please get in touch with us to talk to our lands team.

This briefing document covers a number of commonly asked questions about solar energy in an easy-to-understand, and interesting way.
This briefing document explains the role of solar farms in supporting the UK’s food supply.

Common Myths About Solar Power

Contact us

To contact the project team you can:

Have your say