Solar Farm Meeting @ Friday, 22nd January from 7:00pm at Pertenhall Village Hall

 

Public meeting about the Solar Farm with Bedford Borough’s Glenn Barcham and Paul Rowland’s as well as the Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP attending. Please attend to support the Parish and have your say!

 

E-mail from Harriet Knowles received @ 29/09/15

 

Further to my last email at the beginning of last week, I would like to provide you with an update on the construction of the Manor Farm Solar Farm and the actions we took away from the parish council meeting on 16 September. 

 

Almost all construction activities are now complete and we are approaching the end of the construction period. Over the next week, we will complete the last 300m of cable trenching and then complete the cable pulling process. We will then backfill the pits, clean the roads and reinstate the verges. We are in the process of removing the construction compound and half of the temporary construction tracks have now been removed as well. Once the cabling has been finished, we will complete some minor snagging and then remove the rest of the construction huts and tracks. This is scheduled to be finished by 16 October. As works are completed we will be removing the associated temporary traffic lights. One set of traffic lights has already been removed and we plan to remove several more later this week. 

 

While the construction site remains active, and on the request of residents at the parish council meeting, the team has been working to ensure that the construction site remains tidy and temporary fencing remains upright. 

 

Resolving the phone and internet issue remains a top priority. Our current understanding is that whilst the vast majority of local residents now have access to their phone and internet, the internet speeds for a number of residents are slower than they were previously. We continue to contact BT Openreach to chase them about a date for a permanent fix and will revert as soon as we have this. In the meantime, last week we arranged for an independent engineer to test internet speeds at a number of local properties. The results we provided to BT show that this is an issue that requires action and we continue to work with them to push this issue further up their priority list. 

 

As part of our ongoing focus on completing the solar farm, some construction activities took place over the weekend and we have received a number of questions about this from local residents. This was because a sensitive operation – the pull through of the cable – was taking place on Saturday morning and the cable became stuck at a critical point. The team had to stay on site until the cable was safely into the ducts, and then returned on Sunday to backfill the pits that had been opened. A number of residents have asked about the authorisations we obtained to complete this work outside of normal construction hours. We kept Bedford Council Highways updated over the weekend and obtained authorisation from them to proceed. 

 

Discussions regarding the additional landscaping plan that was presented at the last parish council meeting are still ongoing and the plans will be examined by the landowner, local council and senior SunEdison management. We will write with an update on this, and the plans for the areas within the site not covered by the solar panels, in due course. 

 

 

 

E-mail from Harriet Knowles received @ 18/09/15

Further to my email earlier, a quick update on the current BT situation at Manor Farm following further investigations from Seymour:   

SunEdison’s IT specialist conducted a remote internet connection check with ******* over the phone earlier this afternoon. It appears that the bandwidth speed is low, rather than there not being any service at all. The next action is for us to arrange for a local IT specialist to visit ******* and conduct a thorough check of her service connection from her home. This is planned for next week, however we await availability confirmation from prospective testers.

Seymour met with BT’s Repayment Officer along the cable route at Manor Farm this afternoon. In summary he confirmed that BT’s temporary repairs in the road are complete, therefore the phone lines and internet service should be resumed to normal. Seymour highlighted *******'s case and that of other neighbours and the Repayment Officer noted that on occasion the service can take time to be fully restored via the local exchange. 

Seymour asked for a contact at BT Openreach’s exchange so he could request a status update,  however was told that Openreach’s process is for each resident to raise a fault request with their Service Provider i.e. Virgin, BT, Talk Talk, AOL etc. who then need to contact BT Openreach directly. If enough tickets are raised they will respond quicker. Seymour was told verbally this morning by Steve Coxon that only three fault tickets were currently active in the area. Therefore we will encourage anyone who gets in touch with us that they should raise a fault request with their Service Provider and provide assistance to help them do this. 

In parallel to the above, Seymour emailed Matthew Evans who works for BT Openreach’s CEO in the Communication office and asked him to provide contact details for the Exchange or get the entire village checked for broadband speed. Seymour has just received a response stating each customer needs to speak to their Service Provider, which again is very frustrating. 

BT will need to return to provide a permanent fix to the underground cable, so we have asked for a timescale to be emailed to us as soon as possible.   

We will keep chasing this and provide further updates next week. 

Kind regards, 

Harriet 

 

E-mail from Harriet Knowles received @ 18/09/15

Further to my emails yesterday, please find below our list of actions from the meeting on Wednesday evening and a few status updates on these:

 BT issue

  • Seymour to contact BT Openreach management to let them know that Pertenhall villagers still have poor quality phone and internet and that this needs sorting out at a village-wide level rather than an individual property basis. ACTIONED on 17.09.15. Seymour has escalated this to a regional management level and is pressing BT Openreach for regular updates.
  • SunEdison (via Counter Context) to write to all Pertenhall properties to ask people to get in touch if they are still experiencing phone and internet problems and provide details of the issues they are experiencing. CC to first agree this letter distribution list with Pertenhall and Swineshead Parish Council to ensure the distribution list includes all properties in the village. ACTIONED on 18.09.15. The letter (attached) has been sent via 1st class post today.
  • UCP Choice to contact BT prior to the next phase of trenching to ask them to mark out their cable route.

 Highways

  • SunEdison / UCP Choice (David Esteban or Jamie Cozens) to follow up with Highways on the memo that was provided by Elaine Wheeler. Construction personnel to ensure that temporary fencing remains upright. ACTIONED on 17.09.15. Jamie Cozens is now liaising with Highways and construction personnel have been reminded to ensure temporary fencing remains upright.
  • SunEdison to arrange for a ‘no solar farm access’ sign to be placed at the Chadwell End / Green End junction to ensure that lorries do not go over the weak humpback bridge. Awaiting confirmation that this has been actioned.

 Landscaping

  • SunEdison to provide an electronic copy of the landscaping plan to residents and the parish council – ACTIONED by Seymour Greer on 17.09.15.

 Misc

  • SunEdison to provide further details about how the land kept for agricultural use within the site area is going to be used. Awaiting further information on this and will revert.

Please rest assured that sorting out the BT line issue is of paramount importance and we are pursuing this through a number of channels. We will keep the Parish Council updated as this continues.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions.

Kind regards,

Harriet 

Harriet Knowles
Account Manager

 

E-mail from Seymour Greer (Project Manager) received @ 17/09/15

Dear Residents,

 

As promised during our meeting yesterday, please view the attached revised planting layout showing the landscaping currently approved by Bedford Council and additional landscaping being considered by Sunedison.

 

A summary of the additional trees and hedgerows is as follows:

 

 

Area/

length

Number

Specification

HEDGEROWS

 

 

 

New Hedgerow within scheme alongside ditch

344m

1720 plants

40-60cm bare root   transplant 1+1

5 plants per linear m

New Hedgerow with 10% feathered whips on leading southern   boundary

1625m

8125 plants

10% = 812 plants

10% = 812 plants  – specification: 100-125  Bare   root feathered transplant 1+2

Shrub Shelters

 

2532

Tubex biodegradable shrub shelter 750mm

Timber stakes/canes

 

2532

750mm

 

 

 

 

TREES

 

 

 

New Trees

 

4

10-12cm girth  300-350cm height  RB 2x; Selected   Standard; clear stem minimum 200cm; 4breaks

Timber tree stake

 

4

2.1m timber stake

Tree tie

 

4

Rubber tree tie with spacer

Shelterbelt trees

 

10

10-12cm girth  300-350cm height  RB 2x; Selected   Standard; clear stem minimum 200cm; 4breaks

 

As noted during our meeting, the above is our current consideration for the planting scheme; when the proposal is finalised we need to obtain Sunedison Management, Bedford Council Planning and Manor Farm Landowner approvals to install this screening.

 

We welcome your comments on the Trees and Hedgerows proposed.

 

Kind regards,

 

Seymour Greer

Project Manager, EMEA

 

Mobile: +44 (0)7789 959 565

Email: sgreer.contractor@sunedison.com

 

E-mail from Alexis Krachai on behalf of SunEdision @ 28/07/15

Dear All,

Elaine, thank you for your email. Further to your note and our meeting last Thursday, I wanted to provide you with an update. We are currently taking the following actions:

1. We are exploring diverting the cabling route so that we avoid the two trees in Bedford that are subject to Tree Preservation Orders. Please find attached a document detailing the cabling route.

2. We are looking into clauses Prosolia have with their contracted drivers and haulage companies to apply sanctions if they do not adhere to routing agreements.

3. We have informed security of the need to lock the gates of the site outside of working hours. The gates will now be locked with a key code outside of working hours.

4. We have instructed the worker minibus drivers of the importance to adhere to speed limits.

5. We will provide updated details on the date of delivery and specification of the noise attenuation screens that have been ordered.

6. We will provide a copy of the Ecological Site Management Plan to interested parties. Please find this attached.

7. We are working on a simple diagram showing the roles of Sun Edison, Prosolia and their lead sub-contractors. .

8. We will investigate ring-fenced funds for decommissioning and will provide an update.

9. We are producing a sign to be placed at the site entrance that reminds all workers in English and Spanish to be courteous to neighbours and to remember to not shout or do anything unnecessarily loud.

10. We are investigating managing the works so particularly noisy activities don’t all happen at the same time.

I will be on annual leave next week but this will have no impact on our appetite to work on the above actions. If you have any further questions, the SunEdison enquiries email address and phone number below remain the best methods to contact us. My colleagues James Atkinson and Harriet Knowles will be able to assist.

Kind regards,

Alexis

[Attachments - should you wish to view the attachments please contact clerk who will forward by e-mail]

 

 

 

E-mail from Alexis Krachai on behalf of SunEdison @ 16/07/2015

Thank you for inviting us to your Parish Council meeting last night. We  fully understand the concerns raised and also appreciate the acknowledgement of the positive steps we have taken so far to address the issues associated with the construction of the solar farm. As agreed in the meeting we promised to undertake immediate further steps to address the issues.

I attach to this email a detailed issues log of the actions that have been taken this morning. I hope you find this helpful and reassuring.

I also attach an update timeline for the project so you have the latest information.

We look forward to attending the meeting at Pertenhall Hall on Thursday 23 July. We will confirm attendees early next week once we have determined availability. I will certainly attend. In the meantime if you would like further information or have further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at the contacts below.

Kind regards

Alexis Krachai, On behalf of SunEdison

Email: enquiries@sunedison.uk.com
Telephone: 0800 917 7388

 

Construction of Solar Farm, Manor Farm, Pertenhall

Updated Construction Timetable

Issued - 16 July 2015

Activity

Dates

 

Duration

 

Preliminary construction works begin.

This will involve the setup of the site compound, temporary security fencing and internal access.

06 July until end of July

 

 

Three weeks

 

 

Piling of the structures to be ready for the panels.

This will involve hammering the piles into the ground, but the depth is shallow and the expected noise levels are low and within the range acceptable to the Council.

Mid July – Mid August

 

 

Up to four weeks

 

 

Mounting structure installation.

This will involve mounting the solar panel structures.

Late July – Mid August

 

 

Three weeks

 

 

Delivery of the solar panels.

This will be the busiest period of the construction process, when the solar panels will be delivered over a two-week period.

Likely to run through to 21 August (busiest period commencing early August)

 

 

Two weeks

 

 

Delivery of the inverters.

This will involve the delivery of the 3 solar farm inverters.

First week of August

 

 

3-5 days

 

 

Electrical installation.

This will involve completing all of the electrical wiring and connecting the solar panels to the inverters. This works is isolated to the site area and is largely hidden. This process is ongoing as the site develops and largely involves testing the electrical equipment on site.

End July – Mid September

 

 

Eight weeks

 

 

End of construction period.

 

September 2015

 

 

Solar farm operational.

 

September 2015

 

 

 

Construction of Solar Farm, Manor Farm, Pertenhall

Action Log

Issued - 16 July 2015

Issue

Action

 

Timeline

 

HGV traffic is accessing the site from unsuitable and incorrect roads and not in compliance with the traffic plan.

 

 

Specific co-ordinates were included as part of the original traffic plan and have been re-communicated and enforced with all contractors.

Signage will be improved to avoid incorrect roads being used. Signage will immediately be deployed at Green End and Chadwell End and the corner of Kimbolton Lane.

Distance to site entrance signage (500,400,300,200,100m) to be placed in both directions on the B660 (Park Lane leading to Kimbolton Rd and from Keysoe to Pertenhall Road direction).

No through traffic for Solar Farm signs to be placed at Green End and Chadwell End Lane. Prosolia have been asked to place additional traffic Marshalls (English speaking) at these 4 junctions for the next 4-6 weeks whilst the larger artic deliveries are being made.

Solar Farm signage to be placed on B645 Main Road, with arrowed directions leading to the site.

Site Manager monitoring through daily drive arounds. (Ongoing)

 

 

Signage requested 16 July. Effective immediately.

 

 

A traffic agent has been deployed but is not effective.

 

 

The traffic agent will be re-located 30 yards to be at the junction, effective immediately. An English speaking agent will be requested from the contractor for as soon as possible.

 

 

Effective immediately.

 

 

HGVs have been backing up at the site entrance.

 

 

As a short-term measure, until a larger compound is built within the site, Prosolia has been requested to move the Security Guard’s cabin further up the site entrance road, which can take 10 lorries and is safer than traffic tailing back onto the main B660 road.

Longer term the Farmyard is the proposed new Compound Area accessed via the long site entrance road.

 

 

Immediate request for short-term measure. A new compound to be introduced at the beginning of August ahead of expected intensive deliveries.

 

 

Dogs on site barking.

 

 

Dogs have been banned from the site and will no longer accompany the security personnel

 

 

Effective immediately.

 

 

Pertenhall Solar Farm: Letter from SunEdison

Please see below a letter from SunEdiston regarding the proposed schedule of works: 

Dear Pertenhall and Swineshead Parish Council,

Solar Farm on land at Manor Farm, between Brook End and Chadwell End, Pertenhall

I am writing to you to provide an update on the planned solar farm at Manor Farm, Pertenhall, and provide more information about SunEdison’s ongoing role in the project.

The Manor Farm solar farm project was developed by Prosolia UK Ltd, who undertook the public engagement and consultation at the time. A planning application for the 15MW solar farm was approved by Bedford Borough Council at Committee in November 2014. SunEdison has acquired the project and will now be responsible for the construction of the project and will be the long term owner of the solar farm for its 25 year lifetime.

We know that the proposals for the solar farm at Manor Farm were met with a high level of interest in the local area and we very much appreciate that some members of the community will continue to have questions and concerns about the project leading into construction. We want to ensure that the project is constructed in a considerate and responsible way and would like to work with you to ensure that we do this.

We plan to shortly write to all local residents to provide them with a complete schedule of works, what to expect at each stage and how to contact our team and the Council. I would very much welcome your feedback to our approach to the local engagement we wish to commence.

We anticipate that preliminary construction works will begin at the end of this month. These works will be followed by the delivery of the solar panels, which we expect during the week commencing 6 July and would last 10 working days. All deliveries will be conducted in accordance with the Traffic Management Plan agreed with the Council. The panels will then be mounted and the final electrical infrastructure put into place before completion.

 

We expect the busiest period of the works to be between 6 and 20 July and we expect the full electrical installation to be completed at the beginning of August.

I will ensure to provide you with any updates to the works when available. I also want to assure you that SunEdison wishes to ensure that the community genuinely benefit from hosting a solar farm in their area and that they do so in a fair and transparent way. We offer a range of community benefits to host communities for our development projects in the UK, such as a community fund payment or benefits in kind such as a solar installation on a school roof. I would welcome your feedback on local projects that you are aware of and that we could support.

If you would like to discuss the project further or request a visit to the site, please do get in touch with me or a member of my team:

Yours sincerely,

Emily Marshall

Stakeholder and Communications Manager

Email : EMarshall@sunedison.com

Telephone : (0)207 5493916

Project enquiries : enquiries@sunedison.uk.com

Project telephone hotline : 0800 917 7388