Marston Solar Farm
Following hot on the heels of Lark Energy's Hawton solar farm, the company's 4.51MW solar farm at Marston, Lincolnshire has today (18th July 2011) connected to the local electricity network.
The project has been built by Dutch solar company Oskomera using modules from Suntech, the largest PV manufacturer in the world. Larkfleet Group was responsible for site preparation and some of the civils work. The project is funded by Lightsource in conjunction with Octupus Investments.
The project partners faced a race against time to complete the project following the government’s sudden decision to slash incentive payments for large scale solar by 72%, taking effect at the end of July. The solar farm is expected to be one of just a handful completed before the deadline.
The financial deal enabling the project to go ahead was only signed on 2nd June, leaving just 8 weeks for the scheme to be fully planned, built and connected. In the end, Oskomera, assisted by Lark Energy and its sister construction company, Larkfleet, completed the project in just 6 weeks.
Jonathan Selwyn, Managing Director of Lark Energy, commented “I am delighted that Lark Energy has played a leading role in demonstrating how large scale renewable energy can be deployed quickly to help the UK address its carbon reduction and energy security requirements. We are proud to have been instrumental in connecting 9.4 MW of solar farm capacity despite the imposition by the government of draconian cuts to the Feed in Tariff. We congratulate Oskomera on their superb work and would also like to acknowledge the support of South Kesteven District Council and the local community who have been a huge help in realising this project in such a short timescale.”
The 12 hectare solar farm north of Toll Bar Road is designed to deliver approximately 4.51 megawatts of power – enough annual electricity to supply around 1200 homes.
The scheme was widely supported at an exhibition in the village and received planning consent in May.
Photovoltaic panels (solar PV) harness the power of natural daylight to produce electricity. A ‘solar farm’ is a large number of solar panels mounted on racks fixed to the ground. The panels are south facing, generally around 1.8m high and are tilted towards the sun. The electricity produced is connected directly to the National Grid.
Solar farms are a simple and proven technology providing a source of safe, locally produced renewable energy for many years after construction. The land used for a solar farm creates places for nature and wildlife. The ground beneath the panels can also be used to graze small sheep, goats or poultry – or to grow grass and wildflowers.