Because One Earth would produce more than 50 MW of energy, it is considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). The Planning Act 2008 defines the planning process for NSIPs and requires that we apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build and operate One Earth. Unlike planning applications, which are determined by local authorities, NSIPs are submitted to and decided at the national level. We will submit our DCO application to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS), an independent body that will review and examine the application on behalf of the relevant Secretary of State. After examination, PINS will make a recommendation about whether or not to approve the project, but the final decision will be made by the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero.

No. This statement refers only to the energy needed to power homes, but we need to meet the energy needs of businesses, schools, hospitals and all sectors of the economy. The current UK policy calls for increasing solar production to 70GW by 2030, which was confirmed and restated very recently in the National Policy Statement for Energy Infrastructure on 22 November 2023.

The developers behind One Earth are Ørsted and PS Renewables (PADERO SOLAER LTD. Company number: 08021337). Both companies are leaders in the development of renewable energy across the UK and are working together to develop this project. When two companies collaborate in this way it is common to establish a new project-specific company, which is One Earth Solar Farm Limited in this case. Representatives of PS Renewables and Ørsted sit on the board of this company and are responsible for providing funding and oversight of the development of One Earth Solar Farm. The One Earth board has appointed a team of specialists to help develop the project, who are experts in their fields. This includes a dedicated project lead, who is effectively the ‘Managing Director’ of One Earth and reports directly to the board. This team, including the project lead, works for One Earth and was present at consultation events to answer questions.

Across the country, we must strike a balance between meeting our energy needs and our food needs. Because of the grid’s capacity at High Marnham, we are looking for available land in this area, which is largely farmland. We want to minimise the use of the most productive agricultural land where possible. We are currently carrying out surveys to help us understand the quality of the agricultural land, which will inform the design we present at the next stage of consultation.

Climate change is a major threat to agricultural production, with impacts already being seen around the world and here in the UK. We can support sustainable agriculture and produce renewable energy at the same time. Just 0.3% of land across the country would be enough to deliver the 70GW of solar needed by 2030.

Placing solar panels on rooftops and former industrial sites have an important role to play, but we also need larger solar projects to meet the country’s future energy needs. Projects like One Earth, which can be built quickly and make use of existing capacity in the National Grid, can make a major contribution. That is why the starting point for site selection for this project was the grid connection at High Marnham. Because the coal-fired power plant was decommissioned, there is capacity at this location for new energy sources to come online.

At this point, the project is still in the early stages of its development. Throughout the project’s development, the design will be updated and refined, based on consultation feedback and ongoing environmental assessments. At each stage of consultation, we will be able to provide additional levels of detail, as the design becomes more solidified and key decisions are made. This means that we may be unable to answer questions at this point about details of the final design, which have not yet been decided, but will have more information at the next consultation. We encourage the community and other stakeholders to provide feedback at each stage of the project’s development.

At the end of the life of the project, the aboveground infrastructure would be removed. The DCO would include specific legal requirements for the decommissioning, that would be enforced by the local authorities. We aim to recycle all of the panels and batteries, so we are working continuously to improve recycling options to ensure that all valuable materials are fed back into new material production.

We want the companies we work with to run their businesses and supply chains free from labour and human rights violations, corruption,
and environmental risks. We have established a Responsible Business Partner Programme (RPP), building on our general human rights due
diligence approach to collaborate with suppliers and business partners on improving their adherence to our social, environmental and ethical expectations. This is to protect the environment and all groups of workers and stakeholders in our supply chains, including those that are most vulnerable.