Scotland’s largest solar farm approved16/08/17Energy
Moray Council in Scotland has granted Elgin Energy planning permission for a 20MW project near Urquhart, which could see some 80,000 solar panels installed.
The farm will be constructed on the 47-hectare Speyslaw site near Elgin.
The largest Scottish solar farm is currently a 13MW project at Errol Estate in Perthshire, which includes 55,000 solar panels capable of generating power for more than 3,500 homes.
A date for the start of the new project has yet to be set.
The project will include a substation, 20 inverter stations and a CCTV camera system.
All cabling at the site will be underground, allowing sheep to graze around the panels.
Permission for the solar farm is valid for 30 years, after which the developer will have one year to decommission the works and restore the site to a condition agreed with the council.
A habitat management plan must also be approved by the council before works can begin.
In a statement, Elgin Energy said: ‘Existing field boundaries will not be disturbed and mature hedgerows will provide generous screening for the site.
‘Elgin Energy has contacted those neighbours in the immediate vicinity of the site and has offered to answer any queries which might arise.
‘The land will remain in agricultural use in the form of sheep grazing while being used for the dual purpose of generating low-carbon renewable energy.’
Councillor Claire Feaver, chair of Moray Council’s Planning and Regulatory Services Committee, said: “A significant amount of renewable energy will be generated by this solar farm over the next 30 years.
“The opportunity to continue grazing on the land, together with the habitat management plan, will maintain and enhance the diverse range of species in and around the site.
“I see this as a win-win.”