UK’s largest solar farm scheme gets the green light

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WORK on a £35m project to develop the UK’s largest solar farm at a site in Wymeswold is set to begin by the end of this month.

Lark Energy will install about 125,000 solar panels on a 150-acre site at Wymeswold Airfield, with the panels being positioned on land between the old runways.

The developers estimate the scheme will generate enough energy to power about 7,000 homes a year and possibly more during peak summer months.

The solar farm is expected to be up and running by April.

Lark Energy, which was granted planning permission for the scheme by Charnwood Council last Thursday (November 8), has partnered with London-based specialist investment firm Hazel Capital to finance the project’s construction.

The airfield is currently being used for a mixture of agricultural and leisure uses, including a driving experience operator and a kite club. The developers have assured that none of the current users will be affected by the solar farm once it is operational.

Lark Energy managing director Jonathan Selwyn said: “Lark Energy has played a leading role in demonstrating how large scale renewable energy can be deployed quickly, and with the support of the local community, to help the UK address its carbon reduction and energy security requirements.

“We’re delighted Charnwood Council has granted us planning permission for the project and look forward to working with the council, the landowners and Hazel Capital in realising the delivery of this exciting project. “We are committed to developing significant solar assets in the UK and continue to see a bright future for the technology in this country”.

Edward Packe-Drury-Lowe, manager of the Prestwold Estate, of which Wymeswold Airfield is part of, said: “It has been a pleasure working with the team at Lark Energy to achieve this planning consent. The solar park will add another diversification to the Prestwold Estate with energy joining food production and leisure. We all look forward to working on the implementation.”

Hazel Capital managing partner Ben Guest added: “We’re delighted to be involved in this large, first-of-its-kind project in the UK.

“We believe larger industrial sites make great locations for solar projects going forward in the UK.”