Hampshire set for 10MW solar farm

September 16, 2013

A former landfill site in Winchester is set to become the home of a brand new solar development, helping to generate clean, renewable electricity. 

The local council has given its approval for a 10MW solar farm, set to be located in Funtley on brownfield land on Titchfield Lane. 

According to early estimates, the solar panels could generate up to 14 megawatts of electricity and alongside a gas management system could provide enough power for as many as 5,000 homes. 

Worth in the region of £20 million, the panels will be placed on an area covering 56 acres which were previously used for sand and gravel extraction. In later years, the site became a local refuse tip. 

Alban Cassidy, chartered town planner and environmental consultant at Cassidy + Ashton, said the site will provide a valuable source of energy for the local area, and could further support the energy needs of the entire country. 

“There are many similar projects across the UK, particularly here in the south of England. As the proposals state, the panels will sit on the land rather than require deep foundations, so there will be minimal disruption to the local community and no disturbance of the landfill site during the installation period which will only take a matter of weeks," he said. 

In recent years, the site has been left to grow into grassland, providing a habitat for a number of creatures, but the solar panels will not have a huge impact on the environment. 

Issues such as ecology and footpaths were addressed by Cassidy + Ashton after concerns were raised during the planning application, with official approval given at the end of August. 

The scheme is set to be hugely beneficial for residents in the local area, but further steps could also be taken to save energy and cut energy bills. The installation of solar panels on a property would provide even more clean energy for tenants and will help to reduce a household's reliance on fossil fuels. 

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