The UK may be adding three more PV plants to its growing solar power sector, as a 16.2MW project was approved to be built near Llanelli, Wales while two plants with the generating capacity to power over 3,200 homes have been proposed for the towns of Duckmanton, Derbyshire and Hillingdon near Heathrow airport.

The 16.2MW plant, located in the Welsh hamlet of Five Roads, is set to be developed by UK-based PV farm developer Elgar Byrne Capital Limited. The project will be made up of 65,300 solar panels and is expected to have an operational lifespan of 40 years.

Costain, the Berksire-based engineering firm that is currently performing maintenance and reconstruction on the Hammersmith flyover, is the driving force behind the proposed PV project in Hillingdon, just north of Heathrow International Airport. The proposed installation would have the operating capacity of 5.5MW and will generate enough energy to power 1,600 homes.

The project would be built on a 15-hectare site that Costain has owned since the early 1960s. The site was leased to the Greater London Council in 1966, where it was used as landfill, before being returned to Costain in 1972.

Ian Shervell, investment manager at Costain, said: “A number of projects have been looked at over the years but none of them were viable. We believe the solar farm ticks all the boxes. The intention is to seek planning permission to develop a solar farm which will not only generate green renewable energy but also enhance the site's poor biodiversity and ecology.”

If approved, Costain’s installation should only take three months to install and will last for 30 years before being decommissioned.

The PV project based in Duckmanton, Derbyshire has been proposed by renewable energy firm RES. The facility, which will be built near on a 12-hectare site in Duckmanton, is expected to generate enough energy to power 1,600 homes in the local area.

In an effort to gain support among the locals of Duckmanton, RES organized a public exhibition at the Duckmanton Primary School on March 24 in order to receive feedback on the project.