Huge Solar farm could be built in Waterlooville
- Published: Tuesday, 02 October 2012 07:22
Plans for a 5.7 megawatt solar farm have been proposed by London-based Lightsource Renewable Energy Ltd.The farm would be located a few miles from Waterlooville, East Hampshire on a 35-acre site.
The solar farm would be capable of generating enough energy to power three nearby villages - Horndean, Catherington and Lovedean, or 1,670 homes, although the electricity generated will in fact be put into the National Grid.
Officials at Lightsource Renewable Energy said the solar farm would save almost 3,000 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide that might be generated by a fossil fuel-burning power plant.
Aesthetics tend to be the main reason behind opposition to large collections of solar panels and a member of Lovedean Residents' Association expressed some concern around the size of the farm. However, the area in which the farm would be built is relatively remote and subsequently, would not be easily visible.
Ray Cobbett, co-ordinator for Hampshire Friends of the Earth, responded to these concerns, saying: "When new technology comes along, these installations can be dismantled and the countryside returned to its former glory.
"It's not a permanent damaging thing. Nuclear, on the other hand, takes millions of years to get rid of the waste."
The south of Hampshire and West Sussex has seen a number of solar panel installations recently and there are several more solar energy initiatives in the pipeline.
Hampshire, Sussex, Dorset and Kent are statistically the sunniest areas in Britain – with an average of 1,750 hours of sunshine every year and are subsequently a hotspot for solar energy projects.
Chief executive of Lightsource Renewable Energy, Nick Boyle, told portsmouth.co.uk: "Renewable energy sources and schemes such as this need to become an integral part of our domestic power output if we are to achieve the government’s target of 30 per cent of the UK's electricity being generated from renewable sources by 2020; with the current figure in the region of 5.5 per cent, we have a long way to go in terms of the generation of green energy."