A renewable energy hub with the potential to power 15,000 homes in South Wales has been given planning permission by the Welsh Government.
The site, to the south of the former Llanwern Steelworks, was the first renewable energy scheme to receive planning permission as a Development of National Significance under the Planning (Wales) Act 2015.
Planning specialists from Savills submitted the application on behalf of the Gwent Farmers Community Solar Scheme.
The site is on land owned by nine local farmers. The scheme will enable the landowners to diversify their agricultural enterprise and enhance the biodiversity of the area.
Nick Beddoe, senior planner for Savills, said: “This is an excellent result for the future of renewable energy production in Wales. We expect the scheme to save more than 21,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum, which will make a significant contribution towards the stringent energy targets set out by the Welsh Government.
"Not only does the scheme make good use of the existing infrastructure previously used to service heavy industry, it will support the future prosperity of the local farming community through diversification."
Welsh Ministers agreed with the inspector’s recommendation and granted planning consent, noting that the decision would 'drive sustainable growth and combat climate change'.
The plans will see the installation of a solar farm with up to 250,000 solar panels and 200 battery storage units with a capacity to generate 49.9MW of green energy – enough to power 15,000 homes.