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The NSC have been supporting APSE Energy and assisting a number of their member local authorities through the development stages of large scale solar projects, providing technical expertise for planning and grid connection applications.

Three sites, with a cumulative capacity of 12.4MW, have now received planning consent and grid offers and a further eight sites are currently awaiting planning decisions.

Playing a key role in the development process, the NSC uses 3D modelling to optimise site layout and system performance of complicated schemes, giving consideration to specific site issues such as habitat preservation, underground infrastructure, complex shading, simultaneous land use, opportunities for biodiversity enhancement and visual impact on the surrounding landscape.

The development of solar schemes provides Local Authorities with a much needed additional income stream from land that is unsuitable for other types of development.  The NSC are continuing to support Local Authorities and other clients in making the business case for post-subsidy solar projects through increased self-consumption of generated low carbon energy and arranging PPAs.

The NSC has published four Good Practice Guides on the subject of developing large scale solar schemes which can be downloaded from the NSC website.

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Christine Coonick
About the Author
Christine is Senior Consultant at the BRE National Solar Centre, based at the Eden Project. Joining BRE in 2014, she brings experience of a wide range of solar power applications, delivering impartial consultancy and research for Government, local authorities and community energy groups. As a STEM Ambassador for Cornwall and member of the Cornwall Clean Energy Industrial Advisory Group, Christine is passionate about providing the next generation with a sustainable low carbon future and encouraging women into engineering roles.

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