The largest solar farm in Britain, which will be capable of sufficiently producing renewable electricity to power 91,000 homes, is set to obtain the green light from the ministers this week. The subsidy-free clean solar energy park will be installing 880,000 solar panels and is likely to reach the production capacity of 350-MW. These solar panels will be installed across a farmland area of 364 hectares in Kent.
The renewables project will be constructed 1-mile north-east of Faversham, which is close to Graveney village. The project may also include the world’s largest energy storage installation. Alok Sharma, the business secretary, is anticipated to offer a development consent for the 450 million euros project to the developers, following 3 years of discussion with the local stakeholders over the installation of this park. The developers are planning to commence the construction of the Cleve Hill solar farm by 2021 as well as start generating renewable electricity by 2023, after receiving the government consent.
The project will significantly address the United Kingdom’s plans to build a carbon-neutral economy by the year 2050 and develop the renewable electricity to limit its contribution to climate change. It also could assist the global economic growth amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Hive Energy and Wirsol Energy, the development partners, have a strong belief that the project could help reduce the carbon emissions in the UK by 68,000 tons per year, as well as generate 1 million euros of revenue for the Swale and Kent councils each year.
However, the Conservative MP of Mid Kent and Faversham, Helen Whately, has stated that the development scale of the new project would give a potentially adverse impact by industrializing the countryside. The CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) in Kent also has warned that the proposed large facilities for battery storage could give rise to higher risk of fire and explosions. A project spokesperson, however, has stated that the safety considerations are discussed with the supply chain, Kent Fire & Rescue Service, and the Health & Safety Executive.