London-based developer, Solarcentury is extending an existing 14.8MWp solar farm site at Hardingham in Norfolk with an extra 5.3MW.

The developer states that the extension will be connected to the grid during February 2015 – in time to be eligible for support under the renewable obligation before it is scrapped for solar farms over 5MW.

Commenting on the new extension, land owner and farmer William Edwards said: “We were delighted when Solarcentury advised that there was more spare capacity in the grid to allow this extension to be constructed.

“This second solar farm boosts the amount of renewable energy we can generate. It’s also a great way for us to improve the natural environment in the area for wildlife and flora. The solar farms help diversify our income which gives is financial peace of mind. As with the construction of the first solar farm, working with Solarcentury has been straightforward and any challenges were dealt with speedily and sensibly.”

Solarcentury said that the extension will build on the site’s previous biodiversity plans, planting wildflower seeds in the field margins and between the rows of the array while also implementing a triple staggered hedgerow to boost screening of the site.  

Guy Beesley, director of development, Solarcentury added: “We are pleased to receive approval for extending the existing solar farm, something which could only be achieved by optimising the existing grid connection and designing a site which meets all criteria of the local planning authority.”

Solarcentury estimates that the 5.3MW extension will generate enough electricity to power 1,250 homes.