A 19MW solar farm in the north east of Scotland has secured planning permission.

The proposals were put forward by Stracathro and Careston Estates in partnership with Borealis Energy. The site, at Ballochy near Montrose, sits across Grade 3 land and will continue to have sheep grazing in-between the solar panels.    

The developers estimate that the 90,000 modules on the solar farm will generate enough electricity to power approximately 5,000 homes.

Borealis Energy is also proposing to introduce a Biodiversity Enhancement Plan for the site that will help local flora and fauna. The developers want to sow a new wildflower meadow, natural woodland, a pond, and bird and bat nest boxes.  

The sparsity of suitable solar sites and grid connections in the more irradiance-high parts of the UK have driven developers further north. However, the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) move to scrap renewable obligation support for solar farms over 5MW in size will limit the viability of schemes in lower irradiance zones as they will have to compete with other projects as well as onshore wind under the contracts for difference scheme.