Cornish farm secures planning permission for 11MW solar farm

A llama and sheep farm in Truro will soon be harvesting the sun’s energy too after British Solar Renewables secured planning permission for an 11MW solar farm.

The proposed solar farm will incorporate approximately 45,000 solar panels across 24-hectares. The site will provide an extra revenue stream for the farm’s owner, Tom Tripp, who will continue to grave sheep across the land. 

Commenting on the planned solar development, Tripp said: “We are thrilled that the solar farm has been given the go ahead. I have farmed sheep for the last 25 years and can now do so for the next 25 years. I can even graze them in the solar farm! The regular rental income it will provide will both cement our core farming business for the future and enable us to extend our llama educational, trekking and therapy offering – both things that we are very passionate about!”

British Solar Renewables estimates that the farm will generate enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of 3,125 average households. Angus Macdonald, managing director of British Solar Renewables, added: “The 60-acre site was chosen for its location; it offers high sun irradiation which is ideal for a solar farm yet there will be almost no demonstrable visual impact.”

The Somerset-based solar developer has also pledged to minimise the environmental impact of the 11MW site by focusing on biodiversity, including plans to plant five species of native hedgerow and tree.

At the recent Large Scale Solar Conference in Truro, Phil Mason, Cornwall Council’s head of planning and regeneration, spoke of the importance of minimising the impact of solar parks on the local environment. Mason noted that there is already a backlash against solar and that industry bad practice was in danger of turning this minority into a majority.