Plans have been submitted for a 7.2MW solar park on the outskirts of Leeds by local green energy company, Oakapple Renewable Energy.

If approved, the £9 million development will be the largest in Yorkshire and generate enough energy to provide 2,100 homes with clean electricity every year.

The Haigh Hall Solar Farm will host 32,000 solar modules across 13.5 hectares of low grade agricultural land.

Oakapple Renewable Energy expects that the proposed project would create 80 temporary construction jobs as well as four permanent positions. The company also expects the site to generate around 7.2 million kWh of electricity every year, contributing around 10% of Leeds City Council’s 2021 target of 75MW of renewable energy.  

The development will generate its revenue via the Renewable Obligation scheme, despite the upcoming drop from 2ROC to 1.6ROC on 1 April.

The site was selected due to a natural dip in the land which causes minimal visual impact on the surrounding landscape. Phillip Taylor, managing director of Oakapple Renewable Energy, explained: “Unlike wind turbines, which can be seen for miles, solar panels can be hidden from view, given the correct landscape. Furthermore, there is very little disruption during installation and, once operational, there is negligible noise.”   

The 7.5MW solar park is the first in a line of six major applications being submitted by Oakapple Renewable Energy. The other sites are in Devon, Cornwall, Wales and the East Midlands. If all the applications are successful it will represent around 100MW of additional renewable capacity.