The proposed development comprises three main parts. First, an electric vehicle charging station. Second, a ground-mounted solar farm together with all associated equipment and infrastructure. Third, a battery storage system. The EV charging station is an innovative form of technology with only a few other comparable such examples in the country. The location reflects an identified regional 'gap' in charging infrastructure for EVs. It is anticipated the combined capacity of the solar farm and batteries would be circa. 18 megawatts.
The electric vehicle charging station element of the scheme would comprise:
Construction of a new access off the existing lay-by to the south of the A354;
Up to 6 ultra-rapid (up to 350kW) and 6 rapid (43-100kW) charging
points providing the ability to charge up to 12 EVs at any one time.
These chargers would be suitable for all types of modern, light-duty
EVs and would not be restricted to any particular EV manufacturer;
Public rest facilities including public conveniences, a small
café/shop and seating/rest area within an up to two storey
building located near to the covered walkway and canopy of
the EV charging points;
All necessary associated development and facilities,
including car parking space, hardstanding, landscaping
and outdoor seating.
The solar farm element of the scheme would comprise:
Photovoltaic modules installed on a simple metal framework
mounted on piles driven into the ground, avoiding the need for
substantive foundations. Each would have an overall height of up
to 3m depending on existing ground levels which would be
Various buildings (all of single storey height) and associated electrical
equipment and infrastructure necessary for the operation of the solar
farm, including a distribution network operator switching station
building, client switching station building, storage unit and a number of inverter/transformers located across the site with there likely being at least
one in each of the four fields;
Fencing and a CCTV system (looking inwards) within the site boundary would be
installed around the site’s perimeter while access tracks will be constructed within the site.
The battery storage element of the scheme would comprise:
Up to 6 containers located adjacent to the electric vehicle charging station within a fenced compound (for safety and security).
Associated access and hard standing within perimeter
fencing and CCTV.
Electricity generated by the solar farm would be stored in of the proposed batteries within the containers and energy released as and when required to the local electricity grid and/or the electric vehicle charging station. The batteries proposed would increase the operational flexibility of the proposed solar farm, facilitate EV charging and potentially provide services to help with the efficient operation of the local electricity system.
An underground grid connection would be installed to connect the project to the local electricity grid at the existing Winterborne Kingston sub-station on West Street approximately 1 mile south of the project.
The development proposals will be refined as the Blandford Hill Eco Hub progresses over the next few months and will be presented, for comment, as part of the public consultation for the scheme, expected in early Spring 2021.