Levington: Solar panel farm could generate power for 3,000 homes

PROPOSALS have been submitted to create a solar park alongside the A14 to generate enough electricity each year to supply nearly 3,000 homes.

The 62-acre project would use two fields and be the site for more than 47,500 free-standing solar panels producing up to 11.6MW of electricity per annum.

Consultation is still taking place on the project but the indications are that it will get the go-ahead with planning officers supporting the proposals.

Solarcentury – the award-winning company behind the Blackfriars Station solar bridge in London – has submitted the application for the solar park at Stratton Hall, land between Kirton and Levington, next to the A14.

The fields are next to four reservoirs and reached by the A1093 Brightwell Road.

In its submission, Solarcentury said power from the sun-fed development would go into the grid network and could supply up to 2,848 homes with their annual electricity requirements.

The solar panels would be mounted on “tables” tilted at an angle of 25 degrees. The area would be protected by fencing and CCTV.

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“The surface of each solar panel is constructed from toughened glass, beneath which is a non-reflective layer, electrical connections, silicon and a backing layer, all of which is set in an aluminium frame,” said Solarcentury.

Experts who have planned the project say it will also be an opportunity to create an area of species-rich grassland, planted specifically to create a habitat which will attract a wide range of birds and insects, and be mowed bi-annually.

Consultation takes place until November 16, but in a letter to the applicants, development management team leader at Suffolk Coastal, Liz Beighton said the proposals would not have any significant effects on the environment with any impact localised and short-term.

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