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Top 5 FAQs – Glint and Glare

Top 5 FAQs – Glint and Glare
April 20, 2016 Danny Scrivener

This article presents the answers to the five questions we get asked the most at Pager Power concerning ‘glint and glare’ and solar photovoltaic (PV) developments.

Solar Glare on Solar Panels - Glint and Glare

1. Why is Assessing Glint and Glare Important?

It is important to assess glint and glare because it is now a common planning consideration within the UK, the Republic of Ireland and internationally. Assessing glint and glare early within the planning process will prevent unexpected objections at a late stage of planning which can subsequently cause costly delays.

2. What are the Consequences of Glint and Glare?

The consequences range from a general annoyance to a genuine safety issue. This depends on the sensitivity of a receptor, perception of glint and glare as a detrimental impact and intensity of the solar reflection.

3. Will Glint and Glare Jeopardise my Development?

It is very rare that a PV development is refused on the basis of glint and glare only. In these circumstances, a number of planning issues lead to overall refusal. Pager Power is yet to hear of a PV development that has been refused on glint and glare grounds only [1] however amendments to the design of the solar development may be required to overcome objections.

4. What Guidance Surrounds Glint and Glare?

Little guidance surrounds this topic in the UK, Republic of Ireland and indeed worldwide. UK National Planning Practice Guidance dictates that in some instances a glint and glare assessment is required, however there is no specific guidance with respect to the methodology for assessing the impact of glint and glare. There are no specific guidelines in the Republic of Ireland for examining glint and glare either. No specific reference to this issue is made within Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources’ (DCENR’) White Paper on Energy Policy in Ireland, which was published in December 2015. However, guidelines do exist with respect to aviation activity. In the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has produced a brief guidance note whilst the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in the USA has produced more detailed guidance.

5. Does my Development Warrant a Glint and Glare Assessment?

If a view of the PV development is available from surrounding receptors (e.g. residents) then a glint and glare assessment may be required. Pager Power typically assesses large scale ground mounted and commercial rooftop schemes however evidence suggests that glint and glare issues aren’t limited to these type of developments. If you have a requirement for a glint and glare assessment or are concerned by the possible impact for a PV development of any size, then please call +44 (0) 1787 319001, and ask for Danny, to discuss further.

Footnotes

[1] Correct at the time of writing.

Image accreditation: Sonnenfleck 1” by Micha Jost / CCBY 3.0 / via WikiMedia / Cropped and resized from original.

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