Camp Road Solar Farm

Welcome to the information page for our Camp Road solar project.

The land has been chosen due to its potential to deliver solar powered electricity via a private wire to our client’s site.

Our plans are for a solar farm to be sensitively sited amongst the natural features of the land. The proposal is for a 15.23MW project. We chose this site after careful consideration, and a wide range of environmental assessments informed this decision. The project would facilitate the reduction of our client’s UK operations carbon footprint and offer future proofing for the site.

The land identified for the solar project is shown below or can be viewed on what3words’ interactive map here ///birthing.leap.foam.

Project key facts

  • The solar project could have a capacity of up to 15.23MW (megawatts).
  • Saving around 3,877 tonnes of CO2 every year.
  • The project is fully reversible and after 40 years the rested land will benefit from increased biodiversity and an improved ecosystem.
  • The soil will be enhanced, as it will be far less intensively farmed during this time.
  • As part of the planning process, Conrad Energy is required to demonstrate that there will be a biodiversity gain on site. We are confidently estimating an approximate 80% biodiversity improvement on the site over the course of the project.

What happens next?

It’s important to us that the local community is informed of our current proposals for the site and have the opportunity to comment and learn more.

We understand that you may have questions or wish to discuss our plans. Over the coming weeks we will consult with the local community and key stakeholders on the developing design for the project.

We hosted a consultation event to present detailed information, listen to feedback and answer your questions on 19 April at West Coker Village Hall. Responses to the queries that were raised at this event can be downloaded here.

Proposed design

Project timeline

May 2023

Planning to be submitted

Autumn 2023

Planning decision expected

Autumn 2024

Construction work

Winter 2024


40 years

Operation lifespan



The transition to a clean energy system is necessary to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change to the environment, wildlife and humans. The UK’s climate change ambitions are amongst the highest in Europe and require us as a nation to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. More renewable energy generation is needed to meet these targets. Camp Road Solar Farm will offer an environmentally friendly, low cost and safe way of delivering clean power to the equivalent of more than 3,877 homes.

The solar farm is proposed for lower grade agricultural land and will be sensitively sited amongst woodland features and significant hedgerows.

Conrad Energy will be submitting a full planning application for Camp Road Solar Farm to the new Somerset Council is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. This solar project will aid the county in achieving its targets.

Camp Road Solar Farm will connect at the nearby Leonardo Helicopter’s factory in Yeovil and will provide electricity to power the facility. No additional overhead lines will be required to connect the site to the grid as all cables will be underground.

Solar power is now one of the most cost-effective sources of electricity generation in the UK. The Government has decided that subsidies should no longer play any role in solar development, which is good news for the consumer. This means that Camp Road Solar Farm will not receive any government funding.

Solar farms not only preserve and protect what is there today, but also offer opportunities to enhance the space by allowing the land to rest without regular ploughing, fertilising and spraying with pesticides and herbicides.

It’s important to Conrad Energy that the area is improved for nature, and ecological enhancements are an integral part of the development plan.

At Camp Road Solar Farm this will be done by:

  • Ensuring a minimum separation distance of 2.5m between the panels to allow for biodiversity improvements, such as wildflower planting.
  • Planting and maintaining approximately 8km of new native hedgerow species such as hawthorn, hazel, blackthorn and field maple.
  • Planting additional trees with species such as field maple, crab apple and wild cherry.
  • Converting the entire site from arable to pasture, creating a wildflower meadow habitat where bees and pollinator species can thrive.
  • This will benefit a number of species groups such as farmland birds, amphibians, woodland and woodland edge bat species, brown hare, badgers and small mammals.
  • Conrad Energy respects local communities and designs projects sensitively, listening to local feedback. We would like to hear from the local community about their ideas for environmental enhancements.

Natural England’s provisional data suggested that the Camp Road Solar Farm site is situated on average quality agricultural land (Grade 3).

As part of the scoping report, Conrad Energy carried out an Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) Survey on the site, including soil sampling.

Solar farms allow land to rest without regular ploughing, fertilizing and spraying with pesticides and herbicides. As well as benefitting from the rest from chemicals, we are required to demonstrate as part of the planning process that there will be a biodiversity gain on the site. Conrad Energy encourages the grazing of sheep, as well the siting of bee boxes and bird boxes on its solar farms, meaning that the potential for dual use of the land for electricity development and agriculture will be guaranteed.

The entire Camp Road Solar Farm site will be converted from arable to grassland and wildflower meadow habitat, offering a beneficial habitat for small mammals, farmland birds and woodland bats, as well as bees and pollinators.

About Conrad Energy

Conrad Energy is the UK’s largest flexible power producer with over 800MW of generation across 60 plants. Our installations provide the backup needed for renewables to grow, while our development pipeline includes a growing list of storage and solar assets.

We are focused on building a better world for generations to come and our solutions support the UK’s energy transition to net zero.

Conrad Energy have a very experienced solar development team with many years and megawatts of installed capacity.

Our lead Project Development Manager on this project is George Hall, who has been in the renewable industry for 15 years. He has developed over 400 projects, including the UK largest Solar Car Port at Bentley Motors in Crewe, a 12MWp site at Hunters Race in Sussex, and a major project for J P Morgan Chase recently.

Conrad Energy is just about to start constructing our Larport Solar Farm in Herefordshire, which is a 45MWp project. The project was passed unanimously at Committee Meeting and the head of the planning committee described the consultation process for this project as exemplary. At the moment the current Conrad Solar Pipeline stands at 606MWp plus a host of Behind the Meter projects.

Project overview and timeline

We expect to submit a planning application for the project in late spring 2023, on completion of a pre-application consultation period between April and May 2023. This seeks feedback from local residents before a design is finalised and we submit a planning application for a solar farm to Somerset Council.

We have undertaken an assessment of solar irradiance, the closeness to the Leonardo Helicopter’s facility and the environmental sensitivities in the area which identified this site as highly suitable for solar development. The site which we have located has no high value agricultural land or constraints in terms of heritage, landscape or ecology.

Leonardo is a large-scale consumer of power. In order to move towards the net zero targets laid down by the UK Government, Somerset Council and customers, a change in power supply has become an imperative.

The Ministry of Defence Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach specifies that by 2025, contracts will be awarded with sustainability as an integral part of the investment decision making process.

The solar farm is a huge step towards meeting these targets, and its 40 year lifespan will help to future proof the site for Leonardo, creating a raft of opportunities for the local community. By future proofing the site and taking stress off the local grid, we will help protect our local economy.

Yes. While solar development was previously focused on the south of England, improvements in solar technology mean that an increasing amount of the UK is suitable, including Somerset.

The total area of the application site is approximately 45 acres as viewed on the project layout plan. This includes areas for landscaping and biodiversity enhancements as well as the solar panels.

The solar farm will be fenced using deer fencing and wooden posts with a height of approximately 2.4m.

Solar farms do not typically generate pollution or significant noise outside of the temporary construction period. Any elements of the development which produce noise (e.g. transformers, substation, etc) will be located away from residential properties to prevent any impact on amenity.

Because more than 95% of the land remains as grass, rainwater runoff from the site will not increase and the solar arrays will not displace any floodwater. We will engage with both the local Flood and Drainage Authority and the Environment Agency throughout the planning process to aid in the design of the scheme and mitigation measures. A full Flood Risk Assessment has been commissioned and will form part of any planning application we submit.

Environmental considerations

Mitigation and screening will be built into our planning application. Following a landscape and visual survey and assessment, a planting plan will be produced. This will include new native hedgerow and tree planting to reinforce the existing green network and provide visual screening. We welcome feedback on this.

As part of the plan, we are proposing a new hedge line alongside an existing track to create a new habitat for wildlife and extensive planting around the buildings and new substation.

Conrad Energy have a very experienced solar development team with many years and megawatts of installed capacity.

We are developing the solar farm with the aim of delivering a significant net gain in biodiversity, and to improve the soil quality in the long term. Our ecologist is in the process of setting out a detailed habitat and biodiversity improvement plan to improve both of these important elements.

Conrad Energy have a very experienced solar development team with many years and megawatts of installed capacity.

Extensive ecological assessments of the site are being undertaken. In order to provide increased foraging opportunities for birds all year round, fruit-bearing native hedges and trees will be planted, and fallow strips will be added along field boundaries for winter foraging. Sensitive construction methods will be used to minimise disturbance to the bird population.


Traffic levels and traffic safety are important considerations for a project such as this. As part of the planning proposal, a Construction Traffic Management Plan will be submitted which identifies the route to site and sets out the rules to ensure works can be conducted safely. For example, designated times of day to minimise congestion at busy periods, avoiding problem areas/times.

A solar farm can take approximately six to eight months to construct. Most of the deliveries take place during the first six weeks. After the parts have been delivered to site, there are fewer vehicle movements as the site is built in situ and then made operational. Conrad Energy will be in communication with local neighbours, so you know what to expect and when.

Once the solar farm is completed, it requires very little maintenance as it will be remotely monitored by CCTV. It may be visited – 20-30 times a year by a works van or 4×4.

A Transport Statement will be submitted with each application which will set out construction routes and traffic management measures.

The operational life of solar panels is approximately 40 years. After this time the site is decommissioned in line with the list of planning conditions attached to the decision notice. It takes approximately 4 months and is undertaken by the project owner.

Consultation and engagement

You can register for updates on the project by emailing, and we will keep you updated as we progress the plans. We follow all GDPR guidelines in relation to personal data and you can opt out at any time.

Please ask a question or request a call and one of the team will respond as soon as possible. You can email us on

We encourage everyone who visits this site to provide feedback and comment.

For those who prefer to write to us, address correspondence to ‘Freepost Conrad Energy Ltd’ (no stamp or further address information required) and it will make it to our team who will respond to you.

A further opportunity to provide comments and feedback directly to the Somerset Council is available, after a planning application is submitted. Register your interest with us to be kept informed when our application is submitted.

Tell us what you think

We’d like to hear your feedback to help us shape our plans. If you have any questions please get in touch.


Post: Camp Road c/o Conrad Energy, Suites D&E Windrush Court, Blacklands Way, Abingdon, OX14 1SY