An installation of a 7.2 MW solar park in Leeds has been submitted to planning by Oakapple Renewable Energy.

The company has handed over plans to Leeds City Council for the £9 million development at Haigh Hall.

Some 32,000 solar modules are proposed to be placed on 13.5 hectares of agricultural land. The array has the potential to provide power for up to 2,100 homes every year.

During the development, up to 80 construction jobs could be supported, with a further four positions available upon completion.

Leeds City Council has set a target to reach 75MW of renewable energy by 2021 and this particular project could contribute to ten per cent of this goal.

Despite a drop in the Renewable Obligation scheme from 2ROC to 1.6ROC on April 1st, the scheme is still set to generate revenue via this initiative.

Haigh Hall was chosen as the location for the solar development due to the lack of visual impact that it will cause to the natural landscape.

A natural dip in the land will stop the large solar array from being seen. Managing director of Oakapple Renewable Energy, Phillip Taylor, said:

“Unlike wind turbines, which can be seen for miles, solar panels can be hidden from view, given the correct landscape. Furthermore, there is very little disruption during installation and, once operational, there is negligible noise.”  

This is just one example of major solar farm applications and developments in the UK, with Oakapple Renewable Energy submitting six plans for sites nationwide. Other locations for solar projects include Devon, Wales, Cornwall and the East Midlands.

The scheme could be particularly important to carbon reduction in the UK as a whole, especially the government's Budget announcement suggesting that more focus is being given to the production and extraction of shale gas.