Plan To Build UK'S Largest Solar Farm In Ely Village

PUBLISHED: 09:34 28 October 2010 | UPDATED: 10:07 28 October 2010

Solar panel

Solar panel

Archant

Managing director Nick Sutton said the new farm would provide enough green electricity for about 1,200 homes, while still allowing the surrounding land to be used to graze livestock.

PLANS to build one of the UK’s largest solar farms in Wilburton have been unveiled this week.

Cambridgeshire firm Abbey Renewables is putting the finishing touches on plans that could see a new £13 million, 35-acre solar farm built on the outskirts of the village.

Managing Director Nick Sutton, said the new farm would provide enough green electricity for about 1,200 homes, while still allowing the surrounding to be used to graze livestock.

“We have been involved in the renewable energy sector for more than 20 years and are very excited by our plans for Wilburton Solar Farm, said Mr Sutton.

“We have been working on plans for the new farm for the last six months in light of new Government legislation which has finally put us on a par with countries like Germany, Italy and Spain where this technology is already wide-spread.

“The Wilburton solar farm will be about 35 acres which will make it one of the biggest in the country and certainly in Cambridgeshire. It is on a similar scale to one being considered in Bourn.”

The farm itself will be sited on land along Twenty Pence Road in the village and will be south facing for maximum sun exposure. According to Mr Sutton, there will be jobs created locally to help maintain the site and clean the panels, much of the technical work will be carried out by computers, however.

As well as the production of green power more than 55,000 tonnes of CO2 will be saved over the 25-year lifespan of the farm.

Cllr Bill Hunt, who represents Wilburton, Haddenham and Stretham at Cambridgeshire County Council, said he remained cautious about the scale of the plans.

“It is a huge benefit to have a source of renewable energy but of course we have to bear in mind the potential impact on the landscape and the character of the area.

“My immediate reaction to these plans is one of caution but nevertheless I would like to find out more about them before I form an opinion.”

The firm behind the plans is keen to hear the opinions of local people and is running am open exhibition on November 11 at Wilburton Village Hall from 3pm-8pm. The exhibition will feature plans and drawings of the proposed farm and experts will be on hand to answer questions from residents.

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