Britain’s largest solar power plant approved


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Hive energy

The green light was given to the greatest
farm, which spans 900 acres to the north

The government has approved the controversial plan, which will provide electricity to 91,000 homes.

The project could include one of the largest energy storage systems in the world.

But it has been fiercely fought by many local people, and these are divided green groups. Greenpeace, the RSPB and the CPRE campaign charity are against the plan.

They say it industrializes the countryside – and can harm an adjacent wildlife site.

But Friends of the Earth offered qualified support on the grounds that the current intensive farmland was bad for wildlife anyway.

Their spokesperson Mike Childs said, “No one wants to see damage to local habitats, but it is not a beautiful pristine prairie.

“Changing the use of the intensive farming site will reduce the high level of chemicals that currently harm insects and wildlife – but we need to hold developers accountable.”

Roof panels?

Environmentalists want developers to offer free rooftop solar panels to local people protesting the solar farm – and in particular the giant energy storage unit, which they say could pose a risk of explosion .

The facility will use 25 acres of total land and the campaign charity ERCP claims that the proposed battery storage system has caused fires and explosions worldwide.

Developers Wirsol Energy and Hive Energy say it is safe. They maintain that the non-subsidized project will be one of the cheapest electricity generators in the UK and will bring in £ 1 million to local councils each year.

Cheap signs

In 2015, the government controversially announced that it would phase out subsidies for solar power, to howl of industry protest.

But the cost of solar panels has dropped by two-thirds since 2010.

Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said the decision was made after careful consideration – but said the project would be a world leader in solar and electric storage.

Follow Roger on
Twitter @rharrabin


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