Hanson Cement communications manager David Weeks has described plans to build a solar farm on land owned by the company’s Ketton plant as ‘full steam ahead’, saying it could be up and running by the end of the year.
Lark Energy made an application in conjunction with Hanson Cement (part of the Heidleberg Group) earlier this year and Rutland County Council has granted permission for work to go ahead, pending a condition on drainage.
The solar farm will comprise 38 544 panels and will generate about 8 MW of electricity, of which 35% will go to Hanson Cement and the remainder will be fed to the National Grid. The connection will utilise the existing substations on the Hanson site via an underground cable, so there will be no need for any ancillary buildings or overhead cables to connect to the Western Power Distribution network. The energy output is equivalent to the annual usage of around 1800 households.
Preliminary work has already begun on the project, which has met with little objection from the local community aside from some concern as to the impact on the large colony of bats living in the area. The site is relatively well concealed, so will not present any kind of eyesore. The farm will have a lifespan of 25 – 30 years.
Edited from various sources by Katherine Gu
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