PLANS for a solar farm which could power nearly 1,000 homes have been outlined with Monmouthshire council.

Developers Lightsource BP are behind proposals for the 3.5 megawatt (MW) solar installation at Plas Gwyn Farm, Coed-Y-paen, on the border of Monmouthshire and Torfaen.

The development is planned on two agricultural fields totalling 17-acres.

The solar farm would generate electricity equivalent to the needs of 972 family homes and would offset the carbon equivalent of removing 555 cars from the road every year.

It is planned to be a temporary development, with all equipment removed from the site after 40 years.

The proposed site is 200-metres to the south of the village of Coed-Y-paen and around 600-metres from the Llandegfedd Reservoir.

Under the plans, electricity will be provided via an underground cable from the solar farm directly to the Welsh Water pumping station at the reservoir.

A substation, energy storage units and a storage container would also be installed as part of the development.

A two-metre high security fence would be erected around the perimeter of the solar farm, with access via lockable gates.

The site has been chosen as the development has the support of the landowner, it is within one kilometre of the pumping station and potential negative visual impacts within the landscape are considered ‘limited.’

The introduction of a hedgerow and additional planting is also proposed to provide further ‘screening’ for the development.

Panel frames would be pile driven into the ground, and some excavation would be required for the cabinet, but no significant groundworks would be needed.

Lightsource has applied for a screening opinion request, which determines if an environmental impact assessment is required to be submitted with a future planning application.

“The proposed development would cover an area of approximately seven hectares, with solar panels and associated infrastructure installed,” the request says.

“The majority of infrastructure will be low profile in height, with the substation including equipment up to a maximum height of three-metres.

“Given the existing boundary vegetation, topography, and isolated nature of the site, it is considered that the development would not be overbearing within the local landscape.”

Monmouthshire council will assess the request.