Swindon solar panel park planned to power almost 3,000 homes

  • In Science
  • 2022-11-29 06:10:06Z
  • By BBC

A solar panel park capable of producing enough electricity to power a small town is being proposed.

The 40-year scheme near Minety, Swindon, would produce enough electricity for 2,700 homes, according to developers Ecotricity Generation Limited.

The company said it would also help towards the government's 2050 net zero carbon emissions goal.

Wiltshire Planning Committee will make a decision on the plans on 23 December.

The solar park is to be built on land northwest of Crossing Lane, Lower Moor, Minety and construction would take between three to six months, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The planning application is for a temporary period of 40 years.

The plans include solar panels fixed to steel and aluminium structures that will be up to three metres tall.

There will also be perimeter fencing installed along with CCTV monitoring and cables will need to run underground to a power station to the south of Crossing Lane.

Ecotricity Generation Limited said hitting the 2050 target "will depend on the provision of a range of sources of renewable energy across the UK, including solar power".

But Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently pushed back against solar farms, warning he does not want to lose the country's "best farmland to solar farms".

In August, Mr Sunak said: "On my watch, we will not lose swathes of our best farmland to solar farms.

"Instead, we should be making sure that solar panels are installed on commercial buildings, on sheds and on properties."

Solar farm plans are being refused at the highest rate for five years in the UK, according to development consultancy Turley.

Wiltshire Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019, committing to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.

Ecotricity Generation Limited said this goal will "ultimately rely on renewable energy schemes" such as solar parks being delivered in advance of that date.

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