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Construction starts at one of the country's largest solar farms, in Hampshire

Solar Farm Array

Reporter Charlotte Neal

 

Published on the Hampshire Chronicle website on 21st October 2014
Story by Charlotte Neal, Reporter

 

CONSTRUCTION has started at a Hampshire solar farm that will provide enough power for the equivalent of 11,000 homes.

It is one of the largest of its kind in the country, and aims to set new environmental standards for ground-mounted solar by using schemes such as staff car sharing, solar-powered and biodiesel generators, and food waste recycling.

The Southwick Estate Solar Farm, near Fareham, is a joint project between the estate and Primrose Solar.

They say they are looking forward to creating the “greenest ever” solar farm.

Giles Clark, chief executive, said: “For the next 25 years, Primrose wants to be a good neighbour; supporting the local community and working alongside the Southwick Estate to demonstrate responsible stewardship of the land for the lifetime of the solar farm.

“We’ll also be working with local schools running outdoor learning sessions to help bring solar energy to life outside the classroom.”

The farm will also use CCTV that runs on hydrogen fuel cells, cold and hot food facilities on site to prevent lunchtime traffic on site, and installation of composting permanent toilet facilities.

Mark Thistlethwayte, owner of Southwick Estate, said: “Significant enhancements to hedging, trees and ponds are part of our plans, as well as providing extensive wildflowers and grasses across the site. We hope the land will be grazed by sheep for part of the year so it stays in agricultural production, and we also intend to introduce bee hives to help boost pollination and produce local honey.

“This is a large construction project, and there will inevitably be some disruption, but we will be doing our best to keep it to a minimum. We expect the project to be completed within three to four months.”

The farm got planning permission late last year. A full ecological survey is being carried out with a habitat management plan.

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