Green light for Mapperton solar farm
A solar farm that will generate enough clean electricity to power around 6,344 homes has been given the green light by planners.
Renewable electricity supplier and generator Good Energy has received the go-ahead from East Dorset District Council to develop a 24MW solar farm at Mapperton Farm, near Sturminster Marshall.
The scheme will make a valuable contribution towards meeting Dorset’s renewable energy targets while enhancing Britain's energy security.
Its development will also release an annual £35,000 to be spent in the community by local people for the 30-year lifetime of the project.
A local electricity tariff will also be made available to residents living within 2km of the solar farm.
Hugo House, from Good Energy, said: “It’s great news that the planning committee has given consent for the solar farm, which will make a significant contribution towards Dorset’s renewable energy targets.
“We listened to feedback from our previous application and scaled down the size of the solar farm by more than a third and will be offering a range of benefits to the community.
“We’re looking forward to working with the local residents and supporting much-needed community causes once the site is generating and for the next 30 years.”
Construction of the solar farm is planned to get under way later this year.
Note to editors:
The plans for Mapperton include:
- 90,000 solar panels installed on ground-mounted solar PV arrays standing 2.7 metres high, across three fields with a total area of 44 hectares (106 acres).
- Arrays arranged in rows at least six metres apart to enable sheep to graze.
- Deer fencing 2.4 metres high surrounding the solar panels with gaps at the bottom to allow small mammals to pass.
- Planting of new wildflower meadows and grassland to encourage pollinating insects (such as bumble bees and butterflies), small mammals and ground-nesting or foraging birds.
- Improvements to hedgerows using native species, and installation of purpose-built habitats such as bird and bat boxes and refuges for small mammals (e.g. hedgehogs), to provide safe haven for a rich variety of wildlife.
- All components of the solar farm will be removed at the end of the project lifetime with the majority of materials recycled, and site returned to current use.
The site at Mapperton is well-screened by mature hedges and woodland and the solar farm will only have limited visibility.Good Energy will also create wildflower meadows using Dorset seeds and the land will be maintained through sheep grazing by local farmers.
The East Dorset District Council report recommending approval of the application, said: "The proposal would contribute significantly to the UK's target of 15 per cent of its energy generation from renewables by 2020, and also the target of 7.5 per cent from local sources, whilst emitting no pollution during operation.
“This is of great importance in today's times of predicted future energy shortages, and will help Dorset and the UK to be more self-sufficient in terms of energy generation."
The report also concluded that the site was not in or immediately adjacent to any nationally designated landscape areas.
It added: “The ecological enhancements that would arise from the proposal are a significant benefit."
About Good Energy www.goodenergy.co.uk
Good Energy is a fast-growing 100% renewable electricity supply company, offering value for money and award-winning customer service. An AIM-listed PLC, and founder member of the Social Stock Exchange, our mission is to support change in the energy market, address climate change and boost energy security. Good Energy matches over the course of a year all the electricity its customers use with power from renewable sources. Good Energy has consistently been ranked first or second in Which? annual energy company customer satisfaction surveys for the past four years. Good Energy’s dual fuel tariff is cheaper on average than the standard tariffs sold by the ‘Big Six’ before discounts.
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