Solar farm capable of powering 14,000 homes could be built between villages

Ewes and lambs grazing between solar panels at the Nova Scotia Solar Farm near Caister.
Picture:

Ewes and lambs grazing between solar panels at the Nova Scotia Solar Farm near Caister. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

A village south of Norwich could become a site of a new solar farm capable of generating enough power for more than 14,000 homes.

A new solar farm could be built between Swainsthorpe and Mulbarton. Picture: James Bass

A new solar farm could be built between Swainsthorpe and Mulbarton. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

EDF Renewables is preparing a bid to build a close to 50 megawatt solar farm on land south of Norwich, in between Mulbarton and Swainsthorpe, which it is calling Bloy’s Grove.

The project will make use of a 200-acre site off Brick Kiln Lane, which if approved would see an array static solar panels line the field generating enough electricity to fill the annual supply of an estimated 14,100 homes.

Mark Vyvyan-Robinson, EDF Renewables director of solar and onshore wind development said: “This is an excellent site for a solar farm, which is suitably sunny and with a nearby grid connection. EDF Renewables is an experienced renewables generator and Bloy’s Grove is one of a number of solar projects we have planned in the UK.

“This project will enable us to contribute to the UK’s green economic recovery from Covid-19 and help the country reach its net zero targets.”


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The energy firm has already written to 2,000 homes in the surrounding villages seeking views on the proposals and is hosting virtual consultations at 6.30pm on Thursdays November 26 and December 3.

As part of the scheme, the company is also proposing to plant new hedgerows and trees around the site, installing beehives and setting land aside for grasses and wildflowers.

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The panels would be fixed to frames and angled, with the highest point being 3m up, allowed enough space underneath for sheep using the field to graze.

A spokesman for EDF said: “We are already receiving some responses and have had queries by phone and email, lots of visits to the website and a number of online feedback forms have also been submitted.

“We will be putting together a consultation report collating the feedback and this will be submitted as part of the planning application and made publicly available.”

The consultation will remain open until January 11, 2021, with a formal planning application expected to be submitted to South Norfolk Council in spring.

The online exhibitions will be held at https://www.edf-re.uk/our-sites/Bloys-Grove

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