Solar panels laid out in Oxfordshire have the potential to power over 14,000 homes and is now connected to the national grid.
The 46MW solar farm is build on low quality farm land used by sheep for grazing, new wild flower will also be planted to improve the biodiversity of the area. Environment secretary, Liz Truss, said solar power projects were disturbing food production and that farmers will lose farming subsidies if they have solar panels on farming grounds. This announcement came on the back of a decision made by the Department of Energy and Climate Change as minsters wanted solar panels on buildings as appose to the ground.
Chief executive of Belectric, Toddington Harper said, “I think the changes to the subsidy have certainly made life more difficult. Having said that though, they have changed the ROC scheme within the Contracts for Difference, there is still a chance to deliver projects like this for the UK”.
He also looked at the DECC survey which showed the popularity of the solar projects.
“The wonderful thing about solar power is that is looks like a big change, but people don’t travel using helicopters. If you are at a ground level, you wouldn’t see the solar farms behind the hedge, because its 2.2m high. Drivers wouldn’t know it’s there too”.
Belectric currently has 10 solar farms with a further 10 scheduled to be built. According to the company, the 10 solar farms currently power 40,000 homes a year but the new developments wouldn’t be as big as the project in Oxfordshire which employed 200 people during the construction phase.
Nonetheless, Landmead will not be the biggest solar energy farm for long as a 49.9MW farm is currently being developed in Norfolk with construction commencing in 2015.
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