Plans approved for 350MW Cleve Hill Solar Park in UK

WCN Editorial Team 29 May 2020 EUROPE ENERGY & UTILITIES

The UK Government’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma has approved the development of the 350MWCleve Hill Solar Park.

It will be located 2km northeast of Faversham and 5km west of Whitstable on the North Kent Coast and less than 96km from central London, the solar plant is being built at a total estimated cost of £450m.

Being developed as a joint venture project between Hive Energy and Wirsol Energy, the Cleve Hill Solar Park is expected to have a capacity of 350MW, which would be enough to power more than 91,000 UK homes.

Hive Energy stated that the decision comes at a time when the UK has passed a law to bring all greenhouse emissions to net-zero by 2050. The solar plant, when operational, will help in curbing nearly 68,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

The Planning Inspectorate CEO Sarah Richards said: “The Planning Inspectorate is committed to giving local communities the opportunity of being involved in the examination of projects that may affect them. Local people, the local authority and other interested parties were able to participate in a 6-month long examination.

“The Examining Authority listened and gave full consideration to local views before making their recommendation.”

The joint venture has decided to pioneer the use of an east-west panel orientation for the solar plant and it is claimed to generate 44% more electricity than the same site with south-orientated panels.

The solar plant will create direct and indirect permanent jobs, contributing to the £12bn low carbon electricity sector that supports 47,000 jobs and more in the supply chain.

Hive Energy will combine its expertise in solar park development and Wirsol will contribute its engineering capabilities for the solar plant’s development.

Hive Energy CEO Giles Redpath said: “At Hive Energy, our mission is to create transformational change to deliver a cleaner future for all. Our belief is that renewable energy generation is the most important thing that is going to happen to our planet over the next 50 years. Solar energy is unique. It has the power to transform the world.

“Since 2017, we have worked alongside stakeholders and the community to listen to their feedback and to design a solar park that benefits the local environment whilst delivering a significant amount of renewable, affordable and secure energy generation.”

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UK Government approves 350MW solar plant. (Credit: Pixabay/Sebastian Ganso.)

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