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A HUGE solar panel farm and a park and ride are planned for the southwest of Cardiff near Culverhouse Cross.

The solar farm would generate 65 megawatts of energy, enough for more than 20,000 homes. Large batteries would store surplus energy generated during the day for use at night.

The park and ride would have space for 450 cars, 200 electric vehicle charging points, and would allow commuters to take public transport into the centre of Cardiff.

The Parc Dyffryn development is planned at Vianshill Farm, south of the A48 and about a kilometre away from Culverhouse Cross. Currently, the farm is mostly used for cattle grazing.

Cenin Renewables, the Bridgend-based company behind the plans, says the solar farm will help Wales’ goal of generating 70 per cent of electricity from renewable energy by 2030.

Martyn Popham, managing director of Cenin Renewables, said:

“We are committed to developing Parc Dyffryn, a combined renewable energy and biodiversity management area, and have assembled a progressive team which I am proud to lead.

“Each new solar farm is different but in our view, it requires a clearly laid out vision, with consideration of the location and environmental characteristics of the site and existing biodiversity.”

The plans also include footpaths and cycle routes through the woodland around the site, as well as joining up with the neighbouring Dyffryn Gardens, botanical gardens run by the National Trust.

Cenin is currently consulting the public on its plans, before applying for planning permission. More details can be found on the website parcdyffryn.com.

Because the solar farm counts as a “development of national significance”, the Welsh Government will decide whether to give permission, rather than the Vale of Glamorgan council.

Mr Popham added:

“Solar energy is now one of the most cost-effective means of generating electricity in regions with a strong solar resource. It is also the fastest growing renewable energy source worldwide.

“Wales is seeking low-carbon energy generation with the nation’s target of one gigawatt of locally owned energy production — which we, as a Welsh developer, are assisting to deliver.

“We know this change is driven both by the Welsh Government’s ambition on tackling the climate challenge and promoting sustainability, exemplified by the Well-being of Future Generations Act.

“We are committed to engaging with our local community and would invite any questions to be submitted via e-mail or using the Contact Us section on our newly created website. We view our plans passionately and hope you will too.”

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