A public exhibition was held yesterday for the people of Ellough and Beccles to view plans to build one of the largest solar farms in the country.

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Lincolnshire firm Lark Energy invited members of the public to have their say before they submit a planning application to build a 150-acre solar farm at Ellough airfield.

The firm, which currently has three solar farms in the UK, say that the farm would produce around 30MWp of renewable electricity, an amount capable of powering 7,000 homes.

Yesterday representatives from the company spoke to local residents at an exhibition at Crowfoot Community Primary School, in Beccles, as they explained the benefits of the scheme.

Many welcomed the development ahead of wind turbines or an incinerator, although some concerns were raised about the visual impact and the increase of lorries on local roads during the construction phase.

Beccles mayor Graham Catchpole said that in his personal opinion it was an excellent idea.

“It is clean, unobtrusive, supplies a tremendous amount and does not damage the landscape,” he said.

Jonathan Selwyn, managing director of Lark Energy, said that the company was planning to create a number of new farms across the country and that the response had been good.

“I think people realise that the visual impact is pretty minimal. They realise it is renewable with no noise,” he said.

Mr Selwyn added that there was a growing acceptance of solar panels and highlighted the advantages of the farms, saying they require very little maintenance and that the land can be used for farming at the end of their life.

The £30 million project would see 90,000 panels installed on the site for the next 25-40 years.

Existing businesses would not be affected by this and it is hoped local companies will be used as part of the installation phase.

Lark Energy hope to submit their planning application in the next few weeks, with the aim of building the farm between January and March.

8 comments

  • Come on EDP, it is 4 hours since I put my comment in which you have not published. How come i have been able to put two others in without a problem. Remember this is a PUBLIC website and Article 10: Freedom of Expression, of the Human Rights Act pertains.

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    Norfolk Dumpling

    Saturday, September 8, 2012

  • The residents of Kings Lynn had though they were green by accepting a power station. A massive paper recycling company so Norfolk County Council thought they were on a roll and proposed they have an incinerator as the public at Lynn are an amenable sort. If the residents of Beccles do not want the Solar Farm there is a site at Saddlebow Kings Lynn ready and waiting. Or swap for a Heath Robinson waste incinerator, no previous good owners.

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    Choice

    Friday, September 7, 2012

  • Interesting that this article and the one before advertising the times of the exhibition for this massive solar farm has raised no comments before this one. If this had been even a middle sized wind turbine there'd be 50 comments by now! Clearly then this is some proof that, in general, people have no objection to even quite large solar farms (I certainly don't!) but object vehemently (I admit, that I do) to any possible wind turbine in our area. I hope this and the one at Northrepps, planned, go ahead, this is sensible renewable energy.

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    Windless

    Friday, September 7, 2012

  • Just to prove my point, I am still the only person to post a comment on this article and the previous one. In the last few hours an article re 4 x turbines at Hempnall already has 3 comments, and there will be dozens more. My point is made!

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    Windless

    Friday, September 7, 2012

  • So, come on EDP moderator what is the problem in publishing my comment. It is not rude and does not contravene the guidelines - or do you have a "green" agenda because you won't see the facts?

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    Norfolk Dumpling

    Saturday, September 8, 2012

  • Ian, I have previously commented with solar fact about this in previous articles and the moderator's "green" agenda has not allowed my comment to be published. Your point is not made as I can set an identical level of technical expertise with wind generation against the stupidly trivial amounts of solar energy likely to be generated. Solar power stations inherently have LOWER Load Factors than the stochastic, intermittent, unreliable and erratic wind power stations as well as enforcing fossil fuel backup; there are many references. It is utter and complete nonsense by technically incompetent commentators to suggest that when one renewable is not generating another will be. The Grid portfolio options mix does not work.That explains why professionals have side-lined obsolete technologies like these in the past. Solar panel lives are much less than sails in the wind. Try evidences from Germany. Yet again, the UK bill payer and tax-payer is being subjected by covert stealthy subsidy to supply a 25 year cash cow for mostly foreign investors through ROCs and the Feed-in Tariff schemes. Our politicians will not be content until we are all in fuel poverty. Another technical fact is that the sun power collected on a panel in the UK is generally,on average, about one tenth of the panel Installed Capacities. That should tell you how devoid the science is of population scaled generation. it also fouls up and depletes agricultural land for farming which supplies human food. Think on.

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    Norfolk Dumpling

    Saturday, September 8, 2012

  • Just to try a factual comment again. What supplies the 7,000 houses when it is cloudy, foggy, misty, raining or the sun has gone to bed for the night? This is a worse situation than wind generation. Because of the Feed-in Tariff scheme it is yet another electricity bill payer covertly subsidised cash cow scheme for shysters and snake-oil salesmen. Load Factors (capacity factors to the technically illiterate) of solar power generation stations vary between 7-15% in the UK indicating a worse energy return across the field of "renewables". Bear critically in mind that this solar power station enforces fossil fuel backup because it is impossible to forecast sunshine levels with any certainty. It is yet another means of increasing fuel poverty and moving funds from the poor to the rich.

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    Norfolk Dumpling

    Sunday, September 9, 2012

  • Ian, I have just put in a comment which produced the comment in red "Thanks for your comment. There may be a delay before it appears, but there's no need to resubmit it. Again it deals with fact.

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    Norfolk Dumpling

    Saturday, September 8, 2012

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