REVISED plans for a solar panel array on a field near the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth as well as on the building’s roof in a bid for the institution to reach net zero have been given the go-ahead.

An earlier application, which used a larger area of the field, was “considered to detrimentally impact on the green buffer that is on the southern side of the Library building” by planners, but the revised plans “reduced area however, whilst still having the potential to impact on these, will have less of an impact as it is better screened and away from the more significant part of the Library building,” planners ruled.

The library plans to have the whole of the heating and cooling loads required at the building provided by electrically operated reversible air source and ground source heat pumps, which are part of a separate application.

“The incorporation of heat pumps at the National Library will significantly increase the electricity load required to serve the library site,” a report said, “and the proposed incorporation of PV panel arrays to part of the south field at the library and also on a variety of the library building roofs is thus viewed as important.”

The field, which is currently let out by the Library as improved pasture land for sheep, “forms a part of the only significant area of free ground available on the library’s site,” planning documents outline, and “no possible alternative sites were able to be identified”.

Under the plans, panels will also be installed on the Third Library Building, Bookstacks 1 and 2, the Workshop Block, the North Reading Room Block, the Administration Block and the South Reading Room Block.

“It is felt that the overall impact of the proposed roof PV panel arrays on the National Library and its surroundings will be small,” planning documents say.

“It is felt that the global climate change crisis, currently being experienced and suffered worldwide, fully justifies the submitted proposals.”

The scheme is part of the institution’s plans to eliminate the use of fossil fuels on the site by 2028.

“The proposal has been considered in relation to the associated application for the ground source heat pump development and has taken into account the use of renewable energy technologies and the impact on the landscape and historic assets,” a planning report said.

The plans were given the go ahead by council planners under delegated powers last week.