Wilburton solar farm could expand by a further 86 acres

Plans have been entered to expand Mingay Farm in Wilburton

Plans have been entered to expand Mingay Farm in Wilburton - Credit: Archant

THE owners of a solar farm in Wilburton have applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council to expand the venture by more than 86 acres.

Abbey Renewables was granted permission to build a 35 acre solar farm in Wilburton in 2011, one of the first in the county to take advantage of Government subsidies.

Now, the company wants to expand its array of panels at Mingay Farm, near Twentypence Road, by a further 86.5 acres, potentially taking the development to a total of 121.5 acres.

At present, the solar farm panel generates five megawatts of energy but the latest proposal, if approved, would enable it to generate 17 megawatts, enough to power about 4,800 homes.

In a statement to council planners, the applicants’ agents said: “The proposals cover an area of approximately or 86.5 acres and would be capable of generating up to 17 megawatts of renewable energy.

“Within this area the solar panels would have a surface area of approximately 33.3 per cent of the total site area. The remaining land would predominately be required to allow spacing between the rows of panels to prevent overshadowing, but would also include the access tracks and inverter cabinets.

“The panels themselves are around 1m wide by 1.6m tall and will be arranged in a double portrait configuration in rows, facing south.

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“Each row would be separated by approximately 4m in order to prevent overshadowing from one set of panels to those behind.”

The proposals include building new transformer rooms and plant, on-site tracks, and security fencing and cameras.

A decision is expected within the next eight weeks. To view the plans, or to have your say, visit www.eastcambs.gov.uk