Ecotricity has today completed its ground-breaking 1MW solar park in Lincolnshire, which is expected to be among only a handful of large-scale projects completed in the UK. The huge installation of Sharp solar panels has been constructed on Fen Farm on land next to the Conisholme 20-turbine wind farm and is expected to generate enough electricity for nearly 300 average homes each year for the next 25 years.
The renewable energy developer did have plans for several more large-scale solar parks across the UK, which could also have been up and running in 2011. However these plans have been ditched since the Coalition Government made the decision to pull the plug on solar systems over 50kW. This has caused a huge amount of disruption in what was set to become a large industry sector.
“If this is the greenest Government ever, why are they strangling our solar industry at birth? With a big question mark right now over nuclear power, and huge climate change targets to hit, this is a crazy step to take, especially in the name of saving money. Indigenous sources of energy will save British taxpayers enormous sums of money in the coming decades – just last week energy prices rose by 10%, that’s £50 per year per household. Contrast that with the measly £5 per year this Government are willing to see spent on building our own energy sources. If anything defines a false economy it’s this,” says Ecotricity’s Founder and MD, Dale Vince.
The Fen Farm Sun Park has been part-funded using Ecotricity’s EcoBonds, in which customers and others could invest in green energy, cut out the big banks, and earn up to a 7.5% rate of return over four years.
The installation of solar panels has no impact on the ground below as there is no concrete being used anywhere on site. The solar panels are easily removable and almost completely recyclable at the end of their useful life, which is after more than 25 years of energy generation.