Three solar projects announced on the Isle of Wight

Three solar schemes are to be implemented on the Isle of Wight, at land in Blackwater, Newchurch and Porchfield. Two of the plants will be developed by German company Kronos, while the third is to be constructed by new Island firm, Island Energy. All three projects are expected to be complete by the summer of 2011.

Island Energy has been formed by Isle of Wight sustainable energy expert Roy Barclay in conjunction with local landowners. Barclay plans to create a £15 million scheme close to Bardon Vectis’s Blackwater Quarry. The 20-acre site, fitted with photovoltaic panels generating up to five megawatts of electricity, will feed enough power for 1,200 homes back into the National Grid.

In a bid to get the community involved in this installation, a website and consultation are to be launched on November 4, giving people the opportunity to help shape the final planning application.

Barclay, who said investment for the scheme was already in place, told local newspaper CountyPress that it was essential the public was involved in the plans and benefited from the scheme. He also said they hoped to help other Island landowners to create solar farm schemes and take ownership, rather than simply renting their land to outside investors.

Kronos is expected install a 2.5MW plant at Wacklands Farm, Newchurch, and a 5MW plant at Durrants Farm, Porchfield. Dr Alexander Arcache, Kronos’ Director, said the company would further introduce community benefits, such as a free solar panel set-up for a local school.