Large-scale solar developer Lark Energy recently announced that it has obtained permission from the Charnwood Borough Council to install the UK’s largest solar farm! The $55.5 Million solar farm will be located on an old World War II airfield in Leicestershire and it will have a capacity of 35 MW. The project is part of an emerging trend to install large-scale solar fields on underutilized lots of land.
When complete, the solar array will consist of 125,000 solar photovoltaic panels and it will cover 60.7 hectares. Though that sounds like a lot of panels, the array will not disturb the current uses of the old Wymeswold Airfield, which include a driving track, a kite club and agriculture. The panels will be strategically placed between the runways, allowing the public to continue to use the site.
Hazel Capital paid for the rights to acquire the project and is financing construction, which is due to start at the end of November. The project is expected to be complete as early as the end of March 2013, just ahead of when the cut to the Renewables Obligation incentive for large-scale solar developments is due to kick in.
Lark Energy plans to continue developing solar projects on underused industrial or military land in the UK. They already have plans to build a 30 MW solar farm at the Ellough Airfield in Suffolk and another 30 MW array at the Stradishall Airfield in Suffolk. “We believe that larger industrial sites make great locations for solar projects going forward in the UK,” says Ben Guest, managing partner at Hazel Capital.