Pathfinder Clean Energy (PACE), a UK-headquartered international developer of utility scale solar and battery storage projects, has recently submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment screening request for a 26MW solar and storage development being developed near Paulton, Somerset. The project also has capacity for 49MW of co-located energy storage.


The proposed ground-mounted scheme, known as Welton Hill Solar, would generate enough power for around 9,500 homes each year while battery storage co-located on the site would also allow power generated at periods of low demand to be stored and fed into the National Grid at peak times.


Andy Keelan, Commercial Land Manager at PACE said, “Although the national target for net zero is 2050, Bath and North East Somerset Council should be commended for declaring a Climate Emergency in 2019 and have set out ambitions to generate 300MW of renewable energy to meet the council’s aim for the area to achieve net zero by 2030.


Although many projects around the country are experiencing connection timescales of up to 10-12 years, Welton Hill Solar could play a key role in achieving almost 10% of the area’s renewable energy generation targets before 2030 as the project has secured an immediate-term grid connection.


We have engaged early with the Bath and North East Somerset Council through seeking pre-application advice and hedgerows, field margins and trees will remain largely unaffected and therefore habitats for bats and many species of birds will not be disturbed, and will be improved through appropriate management.”


PACE now has more than 1.5GW of solar capacity in the UK in various stages of the development process and almost 300MWp fully permitted or submitted into planning.