Solarcentury's community consultation held last week has boosted public support for its proposed solar farm in Oxfordshire.

According to the solar developer, residents were largely supportive of the propsed 13.4MW solar farm which is proposed to sit across 26 hectares of farmland between Witney and Eynsham.

Residents were particularly supportive of Solarcentury’s new partnership with Habitat Aid and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust which aims to significantly boost the biodiversity of all the developer’s solar farms.    

Commenting on the consultation process, Tom Illsley, project developer, Solarcentury, said: “Public consultations are an important opportunity for us to seek the support of local residents and for us to highlight the many benefits of producing clean, carbon-free solar energy. They also enable us to explain the steps we take to enhance the ecology of the sites we develop and limit the impact of our solar farms on the character of the local area.”

The Solar Trade Association recently issued 10 commitments for solar developers in an attempt to help secure public support for the developments. One of the commitments outlined calls on developers to engage with the local community over planned solar farms.

Illsley believes that community consultations provide solar developers with an invaluable opportunity to address local concerns, he explained: “It’s an effective way of engaging with local residents and allows us to cut through the negative rumour and speculation that increasingly circulates the development of solar projects, and have a balanced and informed conversation with local people.”

Solarcentury’s proposed solar farm is predicted to generate enough carbon-free electricity to power 4,000 local homes a year.