Cornwall Power, a company that helps landowners to set up renewable energy projects in the southwestern region of England, has been given the green light by local authorities to develop community solar farms in the region.
The company has received the approval to install a £12m ground-mounted solar farm covering 27 acres on Lanhydrock Estate Company’s land. Energy produced at the facility will power South West Water’s Restormel Water Treatment Works, New Energy World Network reports. The farm will generate 5MW of electricity and 100 jobs during construction work.
According to the website, financing will come from solar investor Foresight Group with money from its Foresight Solar venture capital fund.
The project includes plans to set up a community benefit trust to benefit locals over the 25-year term of the project. Cornwall Power plans to give £7,000 a year for every megawatt of electricity generated to sustainable projects put forward by the local community, which will be managed by the trust.
“Normally such a system would sell electricity to the national grid but we have selected the site carefully in order to provide power to the water treatment works that is nearby. It is a more sustainable model as the power is used where it is generated. The holy grail for such projects has always been to have micro-generation systems producing and using that electricity on site” David Fyffe, Cornwall Power’s Chairman, told Insider Media.
Cornwall Power says the South and South West regions are most suitable areas in the UK for solar power generation because of the number of sunlight hours they receive.
Construction work is scheduled to start in the Spring while the project will start producing power by the end of the year.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.