Advice on the key environmental impacts from and documents/information required for the construction and operation of solar energy installations

Key environmental considerations

The key environmental impacts due to the construction and operation of solar energy installations and associated grid connections include:

Development footprint

  • habitat damage (including bogs, heathlands and low nutrient grasslands)
  • species disturbance and/or displacement
  • modification to waterways including alterations to existing crossing structures such as culverts within the site

Pollution of water environment

  • run-off contaminated by chemicals used for routine maintenance effecting water quality and aquatic ecosystems and fisheries

Landscape and visual

  • perceived change to the landscape character and visual amenity of the area
  • degradation of the scenic value/landscape setting of designated areas

DAERA normally only provides advice on the impacts of developments located within the boundary of the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site or its distinctive Landscape Setting or for major/regionally significant Wind Farm developments located within the boundary of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Documents/information required

The following lists the documents/information that may be required to ensure that DAERA can provide a substantive response:

Development details

  • site access arrangements
  • position of all infrastructure
  • drainage Plan

Surveys/assessments

Ecological e.g

  • habitat
  • priority/protected species

The need for surveys should be informed by a preliminary ecological assessment and biological records check. The Biodiversity Checklist can be used for the initial assessment process.

Landscape and visual impact

DAERA normally only provides advice on the impacts of developments located within the boundary of the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site or its distinctive Landscape Setting or for major/regionally significant Wind Farm developments located within the boundary of an Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB).

Mitigation/compensation

  • Pollution Prevention Measures:
    • during construction
    • during routine maintenance
  • Outline habitat management/mitigation plan
  • Species mitigation

Further Guidance

Solar Energy Standing Advice

Drainage plan

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