Planning approval has been given to construct the UK's largest solar project on a Devon farm.
Independent renewable energy project developer TGC Renewables says the solar PV project will be the country's biggest to date.
As solar projects become more ambitious, and are able to be supported under the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) mechanism, TGC Renewables is able to work with landowners keen to diversify their incomes and provide a regular supply of clean electricity to the national grid.
The 8MW project will provide the southwest of England based farm with a guaranteed rental income over the next 25 years, and enough electricity to power 2500 homes.
With the South West benefiting from high levels of sunshine and solar radiation, ground mounted photovoltaic (PV) developments now enable solar energy to be produced at a multi-megawatt scale.
The 27,924 PV panels will be installed over 5 interconnected fields on a site comprising 15.4 hectares, near South Brent in South Devon.
TGC Renewables has worked closely with the landlord and the local authorities do develop the site – through its dedicated in-house development team – including project management, legal, financial and electrical support.
“This project is one of a number of large multi-MW schemes we have in development as we respond to the interest and demand from the farming community for renewable energy," said Rob Denman, Director, TGC Renewables.
"With our in-house expertise, we can take the project through the entire development cycle from feasibility through to grid connection. We now have over 10MWs in operation or construction and with plans to increase this to over 100MWs over the next 18 months.
“The main challenge is finding sites that are suitable and that meet the tough criteria that are required to obtain all the required permits.
“TGC Renewables was the first dedicated large scale solar developer in the UK and over the past three years we have been involved in UK solar we have overcome all the challenges and now have in-house expertise across the skill set and know what it takes to develop world class solar projects.”
Richard Buckpitt, the landowner of the site, said: “We had been looking to diversify the farm’s income for a while, so taking the opportunity to develop a large scale solar project made financial sense.’
“We know TGC Renewables as a firm with a number of other local developments and are aware of its reputation and track record in secured planning approval for its projects.”
Founded in 2006, TGC Renewables is one of the most experienced renewable energy developers in the UK, with retained project planning, finance and development experience.