A number of solar farms will throw open their doors to members of the public on 4 July as part of a nationwide event organised by the Solar Trade Association called Solar Independence Day.
The association states that the event is designed to show how solar farm developments are benefitting the local environment and reducing the UK’s dependence on fossil fuel-generated energy. Schools, businesses, local homes and community groups will be amongst those visiting some of the 17 solar farms involved in the event.
“There’s a really positive story to be told about how benign, unobtrusive solar farms are [while] quietly reducing our carbon emissions, boosting local biodiversity, helping farmers diversify their income, creating jobs and enhancing the UK’s energy security. We need to tell this story to counter the bad news stories resulting from a tiny minority of poor quality projects seized on gleefully by some newspapers and politicians,” explained Paul Barwell, chief executive of the STA.
The association is using the event as a springboard for a more concerted educational push in order to highlight the need for stable policy support following a number of adverse policy revisions.
Barwell added: “With 85% support, solar consistently enjoys the highest public opinion rating of any energy technology. We’re working hard to maintain that level of support. This means commitment to good quality while continuing to invest to bring down costs for everyone. Despite current uncertainty in central government policy, we remain committed to leading the renewable energy sector to price parity with fossil electricity as soon as possible.”
The STA explains that one of the critical benefits of adopting solar PV as a generation technology is the independence it provides, from increased independence from fossil fuel imports, to increased independence for UK farmers, and independence from escalating energy bills for consumers.
The STA is keen to stress that it supports the development of solar at all scales, not just solar farms which were recently singled out for potential policy revision by the government. Speaking to Solar Power Portal, Leonie Greene, head of external affairs at the STA explained that support for solar farms and commercial rooftop deployment was not an “either/or” as government have painted it. As part of the association’s work to promote rooftop deployment, the STA is hosting an industry event today on how to unblock the barriers facing widespread adoption of solar on medium- and large-scale roofs.
Below is a list of solar farms and developers taking part in Solar Independence Day:
Hollies Solar Farm, Skegness, Lincolnshire — Lightsource Renewable Energy & Juwi
Ketton Solar Farm, Hanson Cement Works, Rutland — Lark Energy
Marston Solar Farm, Grantham, Nottingham — Lightsource Renewable Energy
Wymeswold Solar Farm, Prestwold — Lark Energy
East of England
Burntstalks Solar Farm, Kings Lynn, Norfolk — Lightsource Renewable Energy
Chediston Solar Farm, Bonners Farm, Suffolk — Lightsource Renewable Energy
Chittering Solar Farm, Chittering, Cambridge — Lightsource Renewable Energy
Haslingfield Solar Farm, Cambridge — BELECTRIC
Dunsfold Solar Farm, Cranleigh, Surrey — Lightsource Renewable Energy
Hill Farm Solar Farm, Sandown, Isle of Wight — Lightsource Renewable Energy
Tavells Solar Farm, Marchwood, Hampshire — Lightsource Renewable Energy
Marley Thatch Solar Farm, South Brent, Devon — Lightsource Renewable Energy
Wadebridge Solar Farm, Cornwall — BELECTRIC
Wheal Jane Solar Farm, Truro, Cornwall — Lightsource Renewable Energy
Wyld Meadow Solar Farm, Near Bridport, Dorset — British Solar Renewables
Willersey Solar Farm, Gloucestershire — BELECTRIC
Ffos Las Solar Farm, Kidwilly, Swansea — Lightsource Renewable Energy