Scotland’s biggest solar farm gets planning permission

Planning permission has been granted for a 20MW solar farm in Scotland. Elgin Energy’s proposed 47-hectare site near Urquhart will be made up of 80,000-panels and take up an area equivalent […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Planning permission has been granted for a 20MW solar farm in Scotland.

Elgin Energy’s proposed 47-hectare site near Urquhart will be made up of 80,000-panels and take up an area equivalent to around 40 football pitches.

It will feature underground cabling to allow sheep to graze around the panels and no trees, hedges or woodland will be removed or altered during its installation.

Permission for the solar farm, which is planned to include a substation, 20 inverters and a CCTV camera system, is valid for 30 years, from the first time energy is exported from the site.

After this period, the developer will have one year to decommission the works and restore the site.

The firm will have to send regular reports to the council on the energy generated at the facility and is still waiting for a number of environmental assessments to be approved.

Claire Feaver, Chair of Moray Council’s Planning and Regulatory Services Committee, said: “A significant amount of renewable energy will be generated by this solar farm over the next 30 years.

“The opportunity to continue grazing on the land, together with the Habitat Management Plan, will maintain and enhance the diverse range of species in and around the site. I see this as a win-win.”

An innovative new project means solar panels could soon be made of a slightly less sparkly substance – polystyrene.