Company aiming to build hybrid energy park combining wind and solar power near Old Dalby

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince in the middle of a field of solar panels with wind turbines in the distance EMN-160216-185747001
Ecotricity founder Dale Vince in the middle of a field of solar panels with wind turbines in the distance EMN-160216-185747001
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A company is aiming to build a hybrid renewable energy park near Old Dalby - combining wind and sun energy in the same place.

Ecotricity was granted planning permission, in 2010, to build a nine-turbine wind farm on agricultural land next to the A46, to the north west of Melton.

Dalby wind park is nearing final commissioning in the next couple of weeks, when all nine turbines will be exporting electricity to the national grid.

And now the company has submitted plans to build a solar park at the same site, taking up about 15.8 hectares of land, which would use the same grid connection as the wind park.

The solar park would comprise of about 18,000 panels arranged in rows, rising to a maximum of two-and-a-half metres in height.

Ecotricity say the solar park would generate up to five megawatts of renewable and sustainable energy, enough to power around 1,090 homes and saving 1,773 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: “Hybrid renewable energy parks are a great idea – the two power sources are complementary and what you get in combination is a more consistent energy supply.

“When there’s less sun in the winter, there’s typically more wind, and vice versa in the summer months – so putting wind and sun together has a big impact.”

The company has commissioned a number of reports addressing potential environmental issues and impacts of the proposed solar park development.

Melton Council will decide the solar park application in due course.