Could East Cambridgeshire and West Suffolk become home to the UK’s largest solar power plant? It certainly looks possible
PUBLISHED: 14:49 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:49 13 June 2019
East Cambridgeshire could shortly share the UK’s largest solar power plant – and public meetings have been booked for eight village halls to explain the detail.
If approved the plant will connect to the National Grid at Burwell and would allow for the generation, storage, import and export of up to 500 megawatts (MW) of electrical capacity.
It would have the capacity to provide sufficient power for more than 100,000 homes, say applicants Sunnica.
These are the dates of public meetings coming up:
Friday 21st June - Worlington Village Hall (3:30pm - 7:30pm)
Saturday 22nd June - Red Lodge Millennium Centre (12:00pm - 4:00pm)
Friday 28th June - Chippenham Village Hall (3:30pm - 7:30pm)
Saturday 29th June - Freckenham Village Hall (2:00pm - 6:00pm)
Tuesday 2nd July - Mandeville Hall, Burwell (3:30pm - 7:30pm)
Thursday 11th July - West Row Village Hall (3:30pm - 7:30pm)
Wednesday 17th July - Fordham Victoria Hall (3:30pm - 7:30pm)
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Friday 19th July - The Beeches, Isleham (3:30pm - 7:30pm)
Sunnica Energy Farm is a joint venture between Tribus Energy and PS Renewables, and will be built across three separate sites close to Worlington, Chippenham and Snailwell. These would be connected to each other and the National Grid using underground cables.
Due to its generating capacity, it is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).
The exhibitions are taking place as part of a public consultation being carried out by Sunnica Ltd. They will give local people a chance to view the plans and provide feedback to the project team.
Luke Murray of Sunnica Ltd said: "This is the first stage of our public consultation programme.
"We're consulting at an early stage in scheme development because we want to gain valuable feedback which will help us prepare the design of our plans.
"We encourage as many people as possible to attend one of our upcoming public exhibitions to learn more about the scheme and share their views."
If approval is given work could begin in 2022 and be complete within three years although the timetable is yet to be finalised.
The sheer size and scale of the project will take some time to agree with local authorities both in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.
Numerous evaluations are already under way and Sunnica are proposing what they described as some of the latest technologies to be incorporated.
Current plans are for the storage systems to feature lithium-ion batteries but this too could be subject to modification as technological advances come on board.
The company has more information on its website.