Solar park plans for village

PUBLISHED: 10:00 22 January 2011

Archant

A PIECE of farmland in Bleadon has been earmarked as a potential site for a solar park.

Enfinity UK Ltd wants to build the renewable energy park on around 25 acres of land on South Hill Farm off Accommodation Road.

The solar park developer, which has branches across the globe, has asked North Somerset Council if an Environmental Impact Assessment is needed before it considers submitting a planning application.

Proposals for the site include the installation of up to 22,000 solar panels across 67 rows of panels, which would produce around 4.5 million kilowatt-hours of energy each year.

The panels would not exceed three metres in height and would be no wider than 1.65m, which Enfinity says is of both low visual and environmental impact.

Power generated from the direct and indirect sunlight would be converted into electricity and fed into the local grid network for residents to use.

Robert Ayres, Enfinity UK business development director, said: “The area of North Somerset is one of many in the UK that has a suitable level of irradiance that could support the development of a solar photo-voltaic generation farm.

“Our plans are at a very preliminary stage and we are awaiting the formal response to our Screening Opinion letter from North Somerset Council prior to progressing further with the project.

“Should the project proceed then we will engage with the local community via one or more public engagement events and seek to discuss the aspects of the project that can be of interest to and of benefit.”

He said a planning application could be submitted sometime after April and if given the go-ahead, the park could be up-and-running by next year.

Robert added: “Our experience of the development of solar photo voltaic projects is that local employment can be created and we would seek to review these opportunities as the project develops.”

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