7 138 GWh
tons of CO2 avoided per year
The Tonge Solar Farm is the first IPP project developed, built, and operated by Voltalia in the UK. The O&M team is working on how to manage the valuable ecological features of the site to increase the presence of wildlife during the operation phase. Tonge Solar Farm has a Biodiversity Management Plan to protect the existing on-site plant and animal life.
The main points in the operational phase that the O&M team is working on:
- Managing grassland to ensure the development of a diverse sward beneath and around the PV modules.
- The site is managed to create a diverse grassland habitat that will benefit a wide range of wildlife, including invertebrates. The site was seeded using seeds from suitable and natives species and is managed using a cutting regime.
- Currently studying the possibility of combining the grass cutting with a grazing regime with the SPV owner.
- Managing adjacent habitats, so that birds can nest and winter.
- Habitats and features, such as roosting poles, were provided on-site to maintain and enhance the value of the site for nesting and wintering birds.
- Bat and bird boxes were installed on suitable and mature trees adjacent to the site. Also, perchers were erected around the security fence, to provide vantage points for raptor species to prey on small mammal species populations that can expand in the large grassland.
- To ensure wildlife and protected species are adequately protected during the life of the project.
- We ensure that species can continue using the site and that they are protected during operation.
- Two wildlife hibernacula were created to provide shelter and over-wintering refuges for reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. Also, mammal gaps were installed in the security fence to provide access points for badgers, hares and small mammals to continue using the site for foraging.