Plans for the UK’s largest solar farm have been given the go-ahead and will cover around 900 acres along the Kent coastline
Solar energy is an important step towards hitting climate change targets set out by the government. Some say these solar farms are an eyesore. However, the green light has been given to create the UK’s biggest farm on the Kent coast.
The Metro reported the area would cover a space of around 900 acres, which is the equivalent of 600 football pitches. It was reported Energy Secretary Alok Sharma gave his approval for the scheme, which will cost approximately £450 million. This will also see around one million solar panels installed on the land.
This comes after a new peak solar generation record was set in the UK in April, whilst also going 11 days without the use of coal power.
A spokesperson for the government said the project was given careful consideration. They also explained that solar power plays an important role in reducing the impact of climate change.
The project is estimated to help power around 100,000 homes. It is said to be considered a ‘world-leading solar and storage project.’
The location of the solar farm will on the proposed site near Graveney near Faversham and Whitstable in Kent. The proposal could see construction start next year and clean energy produced by 2023. The electricity generated here will be sent to the London Array sub-station, which also receives power from an offshore wind farm.
The original plans were put forward in 2018, and these were heavily examined as there were several concerns from the public regarding wildlife, visual impact on the area, and battery safety alongside others.
Wind power taking charge In Cornwall
Green energy is a hot topic of conversation at the moment. With electricity generated from wind power overtaking fossil fuels at the beginning of the year, it’s no surprise that a floating wind turbine project is attracting interest.
Business Live reported that marine tech businesses are looking into investment possibilities as plans for floating wind turbines off the coast of Cornwall are starting to take shape.
Professor Lars Johanning at the University of Exeter said floating wind turbines are a fast-growing sector worldwide. He added the government has committed to reaching 40GW of offshore wind by 2030. Plus, floating turbines can be deployed in deeper water to harness stronger winds.
It was also mentioned that this is an excellent opportunity for marine technology businesses in Cornwall.
This comes after a study has shown that recent weather has helped generate more electricity in wind farms than by gas-powered stations.
The programme named Marine-i is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and was created to boost the marine tech industry in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Simon Cheeseman, of ORE Catapult, a Marine-i partner, said: “The political will, investor appetite, and regulatory requirements are all aligning with the first 90MW+ floating offshore wind developments already in planning.”
He added there is an opportunity for a new supply chain as businesses respond to the requirements of the technology.
At present, four floating wind sites are planned in the Celtic Sea, which includes two off the coast of Cornwall and two in the waters off West Wales.