The cumulative generation capacity of the solar farm would be 2.1MW. Image: Flickr.
The cumulative generation capacity of the solar farm would be 2.1MW. Image: Flickr.

Sandringham House, owned by King Charles, has lodged plans to develop a solar and battery storage facility for use on the Estate.

The application, submitted to the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, would see around 2,000 panels installed on land currently used as horse grazing paddocks. The cumulative generation capacity would be 2.1MW.

The site is located on land within the Sandringham Estate and positioned approximately 845m to the east of the small village of Sandringham. The larger village of Dersingham lies approximately 920m to the northwest.

According to the planning application, the panels would be “orientated due south, inclined to ensure optimum irradiance and arranged in rows that follow the terrain, being approximately 3.06m above ground level at their tallest point”.

The solar system will supply power to the three main power consumers of the Estate – the sawmill, visitor centre, and house. The existing infrastructure will be upgraded and adapted as necessary as part of the project.

Solar and historical buildings

Solar continues to be installed in historical buildings across the UK to reduce carbon emissions; however, this comes with certain challenges.

In March 2023, it was revealed that one of the globe’s most iconic cathedrals, York Minster, was set to install solar PV panels onto its roof following approvals by City of York Council (CoYC) and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England.

The cathedral, a grade I-listed building and a registered English Heritage Site, would look to install a total of 199 panels that would then be placed upon the roof of South Quire Aisle – a part of the cathedral which originally dates from 1361.

As well as contributing to meeting daytime power demand, surplus power generated by the panels will be stored in underground batteries and used to power the cathedral’s evening services and events.

In 2022, solar PV was installed on the roof of the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle by AES Solar as part of a programme to reduce energy use on historic properties.

A high parapet surrounds the 31.5kWp system, meaning the panels aren’t visible from the castle grounds or other vantage points within the city.

Solar Power Portal’s publisher Solar Media will host the UK Solar Summit on 4-5 June 2024 in London. The event will explore UK’s new landscape for utility and rooftop solar, looking at the opportunities within a GW+ annual market, and much more. For more information, go to the website.