County council says vast new solar farm earmarked for Soham could power more than 3,000 homes
08:34 06 August 2014
Cambridgeshire County Council has unveiled plans for a vast new solar farm in Soham.
More than 70 acres of Fen farmland will make way for 50,000 solar panels as part of the new development, which, the council hopes, will generate enough electricity to power 3,150 homes per year.
The council says it chose the land at Triangle Farm, in Angle Common, because it is grade three and “the heaviest and least productive land on the holding”.
It is initially proposed to keep the panels in place for the next 25 years – though the council says it could extend the planning permission after that time.
It added that it expects sheep will be grazed on the land when the panels have been installed.
In its plans, the council said: “The rows of panels would be set back from the site boundaries to prevent overshadowing from adjoining vegetation and the site fence. “There would also be a separation of 4-6m between each row, again to ensure that the panels are not overshadowing each other. This will ensure that the existing trees and hedges that surround the site will not be harmed by the development.”
The authority expects it to take about four months to get the panels installed and producing electricity.
The council added: “It is concluded that the scheme provides an appropriate design, enabling the development of a high quality renewable energy project with suitable mitigation and enhancements also proposed.”
A decision on the plans is expected within the next eight weeks. To view the plans, or to have a say, visit www.eastcambs.gov.uk