Leeds solar farm given approvalJuly 25, 2013
The development of a new solar farm in Leeds has been given the seal of approval by the Leeds City Council.
Some 32,000 solar panels will feature on the 33-acre site on farmland in the Tingley area. Once completed, the scheme could create enough electricity to power 2,100 homes.
The panels will be mounted one metre off the ground, which will provide the farm's sheep an area to continue grazing.
Solar farms in the UK are expected to increase in popularity, as energy and climate change minister Greg Barker reiterated his ambition to see 20GW of the UK's electricity created by solar farms by 2020.
Leeds City Council gave exceptional permission for the scheme on account of its "wider environmental benefits", which will be achieved following a reduction in carbon emissions, due to clean energy being generated for the use of local people.
The scheme has been under some controversy, as local residents believed that the development would obstruct views of the local landscape.
However, manager of the project John Brooks has said that the development team had worked hard to make this impact as minimal as possible.
The solar panels will be located on green belt land and could be up and running by 2014. The panels will last for up to 25 years.
Leeds City Council is aiming to cut the amount of carbon emissions in the area by 2021, and the new 7.2MWh development could provide as much as ten per cent of this target.
A council report to the planning panel said: “The case for renewable energy at national, regional and local level has significant weight and is considered to provide the very special circumstance necessary to justify this development in the green belt."
If you are looking to install solar panels on your residential property, it is worth contacting your local council to see if any initiatives or incentives are available to you.