Leading the way in all phases of renewable energy projects


We are a leading consultancy in the field of survey and assessment of large scale renewable energy projects, in particular photo-voltaic (PV) arrays.  Our work has included baseline surveys of over 300 large scale solar projects.  We have been leading on research in this field working with academic institutions to develop best practice and ensure assessment and management of sites maximises the ecological opportunities associated with these schemes.  We currently carry out ecological monitoring on approximately 7% of the UK’s large scale PV arrays.

We have also provided guidance on a number of small wind-farm and turbine projects through the south west of England as well as working with EGS energy and the Eden Project in Cornwall on the UK’s first geothermal power station.

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We are particularly proud of our work within the solar sector.  Since our first few project in 2011 in the South West we have gone on to provide advice on the survey, assessment, design, planning, construction, operation and monitoring phases of over 300 large scale PV arrays across the UK, Wales and Scotland.

The size of our business allows us to be reactive and be able to mobilise quickly, get out onto sites and collect the necesssary data to inform applications.  The size of our team ensures that we have strength in depth, necessary for many of the larger projects.  We are proud to be supporting several clients on Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects in England and Developments of National Significance in Wales.

Or experience across a wide range of planning authorities and size and scale of applications allows us to bring the experience gained on one site, and in one region to the next project.

Our close involvement in developing and delivering long-term ecological monitoring strategies for large scale arrays has enhanced the quality of our advice.  We have the evidence to underpin our assessments.  We know what works and what doesn’t and we have the scientific evidence to back it up.  When it comes to presenting a strong application or developing an ecologically excellent scheme our evidence is invaluable. Building on this experience we have been involved in the development of a standardised methodology for ecological monitoring of solar farms. Using this standardised approach has allowed us to build a solid evidence base to measure how solar farms interact with biodiversity and our publications on this topic can be found on our Research and Charities page.

Our experience of pre-construction and post-construction sites gives us a comprehensive understanding of how ecological enhancements can best be applied to solar farms whilst still allowing them to be maintained as energy generating sites. We collaborated on Natural Capital Best Practice Guidance which was published by Solar Energy UK which sets out ways to deliver ecological gains from the site design stage through to decommissioning.

Clarkson & Woods have also become leaders in the application of Biodiversity Net Gain to solar farms and we are working with partners such as Natural England to further develop our understanding of how the Biodiversity Net Gain metric is best applied to solar farm developments.