Plans revealed for Elmbridge solar farm

August 5, 2013

Plans for the development of a huge solar farm in Surrey have been submitted to the local council, Get Surrey reports.

Land located just off Molesey Road in Elmbridge could soon be home to a huge allocation of 27,500 solar panels, which will help to provide local residents with cheap, clean, renewable energy to help them reduce energy bills.

Elmbridge Borough Council will now decide whether or not an environmental impact assessment will have to be carried out for the solar farm, with the estimated 33-acre site located in close proximity to the Molesey Heath Nature Reserve.

Local residents will suffer minimum visual obstruction from the panels, which will be installed in rows and will be no higher than 2.3 metres from the ground.

The panels will mostly be screened by existing trees and hedges, in addition to new planting to further keep the photovoltaics from view.

High sunlight levels in the area, in addition to being located close to necessary cables, make the site appropriate for solar panels. Plans suggest the panels will have a lifespan of 25 years, with the land set to be returned to its original state once this is over.

Schemes such as this can help reduce carbon emissions for local areas, while helping residents reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and energy from the National Grid.

With energy prices on a seemingly endless increase, initiatives such as this will help to ensure that local residents don't slip into fuel poverty in the future.

Furthermore, the solar farm could potentially generate a profit, with excess energy fed back into the National Grid, with payments provided by the government's feed-in tariff.

Residents of Elmbridge don't necessarily have to wait for this initiative to be introduced in order to benefit from renewable energy. Accessing the government's Green Deal could see solar panels installed on a property with no upfront cost to the household. A loan is applied to the property and is paid back through future savings in energy bills.

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