Solar, so good – as work on Scotland’s biggest sun-power farm to start this year

sheep and solar panelsBy DARA BUTTERFIELD

Building work on Scotland’s largest solar park is to begin at the end of year, when  it is hoped to become the first commercial solar park operating in Scotland.

Aberdeen-based BWE Partnership has already received planning permission for their 9.5 megawatt, ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) park to be built on farmland at Carmyllie, near Arbroath. The array will be able to power more than 6,600 homes and power generation is expected to begin early next year.

Ron Shanks, owner of BWE Partnership, said: “This is an exciting time for BWE Partnership as we enter the construction stage of delivering what we believe is Scotland’s first large commercial solar park.

“This site was selected because of its excellent levels of irradiance which is vital to the effectiveness of a solar park as this powers the entire project.

“Scotland continues to build a strong reputation in the renewable energy sector and the build of this solar park will represent a significant step forward.

“We hope solar in Scotland will help to compliment onshore wind in providing renewable energy for our country and look forward to this project coming to fruition.”

Eastern Scotland – from Angus down to the Borders – is the sunniest area of the country.

Lang Banks, Director, WWF Scotland, welcomed the plans saying: “Scotland might not seem like a good place for solar power, but if you look at a solar radiation map Scotland receives about 80% of the solar energy of Germany – which is the world leader in solar deployment.

“Together these solar panels will help to prevent thousands of tonnes of climate-damaging emissions being emitted. The great thing about solar is that it can deployed easily and quickly in towns and cities or in places not suitable for wind turbines.

“Alongside energy saving measures, renewable energy technologies like solar and wind will be important to enabling that Scotland meets its climate change targets.”

Solar Park will be located on land leased from Robert and Brenda Jackson, who farm at New Mains of Guynd.

Kevin Jackson, partner of the family farm, said: “I am delighted that New Mains of Guynd is playing a key part in this large scale development for renewables in Scotland. This agreement with BWE Partnership will allow us to maximise income generation from our land without hindering day-to-day activities. I’m looking forward to seeing the solar park installed and operating.”

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