Lightsource Renewable Energy has launched a ‘Get Involved’ campaign today in order to encourage local residents to help shape and design its proposed solar farm in Somerton.

The London-based developer has sent out information detailing preliminary designs to local residents and will be holding an information evening on 28 January for residents to raise any concerns and ask questions.  

As part of its ‘Get Involved’ campaign, Lightsource has identified the following areas where locals can contribute:

·      Residents to provide local knowledge and input into the initial designs and planning

·      Wildlife enthusiasts – solar farms provide excellent opportunities to enhance biodiversity in the local area

·       Security personnel

·       Traffic management & civil roadways experts

·       Accommodation & food and beverage providers

·       Storage and logistics businesses

·       Fencing experts

·       Landscapers specialising in local/native species

Conor McGuigan, business development director, explained why the developer is putting the local community at the centre of its plans, he said: “Championing the local economy is at the core of what we do. Solar power is a dependable source of energy, and farming it creates a great opportunity to establish a sustainable supply chain and prioritise local business and skills.

“The way a solar farm is laid out means that over two thirds of the land is open grassland. In the case of Somerton Door, the open grassland would account for 29 out of the planned 42 acres. All of this land needs to be responsibly cared for and this involves much more than just technical expertise. There are many ways people can get involved – from the point of design right through to construction, fencing and enhancing habitats for local wildlife.”

Lightsource states that it is several weeks away from a final proposal, with a number of wildlife and landscape assessments still being carried out. However, it has confirmed that sheep will be grazed onsite and all existing hedgerow and woodland will be retained. In addition, the developer will include wild flower seeding and bird and bat boxes.

McGuigan concludes: “We encourage anyone who would like to get involved to make contact with us and also come along to our community information evening on 28 January to find out more, provide input or register with us as a local service provider.”