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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

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Bigrigg earmarked to get 30,000 solar panels

THE first solar park in West Cumbria – consisting of over 30,000 panels – could be built near Egremont.

Shedding light: Questions are asked of the plans for a solar park near Bigrigg

By Lucy Grosvenor

Details have been sent out to residents surrounding Woodend Farm and Hollins Farm where developers hope to install the new park.

There will also be a public exhibition today (Thursday) in Egremont Market Hall (3pm to 8pm).

If plans go ahead, the area could see approximately 30,720 panels on the 24.16 hectare site which lies upon agricultural land to the east of Bigrigg.

Castillium – a national company which deals with renewable energy in both wind and solar – is heading the project.

Alistair Fell, director, said: “As a company we invest significant time and effort in finding the best sites for solar photovoltaic projects to minimise impact on both the site and the surrounding land.

“By avoiding high grade agricultural land and by implementing a grazing management plan, we minimise the loss of land from agricultural use, whilst enhancing and diversifying the value of the land to the landowner.”

The land is currently used for livestock grazing and this will continue throughout the operational development, as the sheep take shelter under the units in bad weather.

Solar panels have a lifespan of 30 years and, after this time, the site will be decommissioned and returned back to its original use.

Mr Fell said: “Whilst the UK is widely regarded as having more wind than sun, our research has found that with current technology, average generation yield per acre from solar PV across the UK is more than twice that of wind.”

The development will generate energy which will have the ability to power up to 1,241 homes and offset approximately 2,508 tonnes of carbon dioxide ever year.

This energy will not necessarily be used locally, it will be fed into the national infrastructure and distributed where needed throughout the country.

“As part of the development process we undertake a landscape and visual impact assessment to ensure the solar park operates discretely over its life,” said Mr Fell.

If approved, the solar panels will be mounted on long racks which will run east to west with the panels facing south to capture the most sunlight.

Mr Fell said the visual impact on residents would be “low as the site will establish hedges and the panels are low lying”.

Have your say

Seen solar panel site further south they are not a blot on the landscape, you hardly notice them driving by. they allow sheep and wildlife shelter and food. The ones I saw were not visible from a distance and as I understand it there is not any danger of them appearing in fields beside housing as companies try to keep away from residential areas.

Posted by Cath on 29 July 2014 at 09:17

I do not see a problem as long as these can not be seen as it would be like all these daft wind turbines that keep popping up round Egremont they are out of place around here and spoil the view and can not wait for someone to take them down this is a lovely town NOT a building site for power companies

Posted by the bugg on 26 June 2014 at 12:14

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