Solar energy company, UK Solar Provider Ltd. has announced a series of public exhibitions to consult on proposals that could see crops grown alongside solar panels on land in Central Bedfordshire and South Cambridgeshire.
UK Solar Provider, along with the Wentzel Partnership who owns the land, is investigating the potential for solar energy - capable of powering thousands of homes - at three sites between Potton and Croydon.
The project team is also exploring the idea of agrivoltaics: whereby crops can be grown between rows of solar panels. This would mean that agricultural use could continue while significant amounts of clean, renewable energy are produced at the same time. Using the land for grazing is also being considered.
Sebastian Seyfarth, spokesman for UK Solar Provider, said: “We are pleased to announce the details for our public exhibitions between 20th and 23rd May. This will be a good chance for local people to view the proposals, ask any questions and give feedback.
“Leaflets and letters have been sent to local residents and we look forward to as many people taking part in the consultation as possible. We also have a website (www.ukspconsultation.com) that will be continually updated and consultation will continue after the exhibitions.
“We believe the local landscape is well suited to solar panels and we will be working with planning officers and the local community to select the most suitable panel locations. We also have plans for significant ecological benefits by creating a wildlife ‘oasis’ in areas around the proposed solar farms.
“If the plans go ahead, we will set up a community benefit fund to make significant amounts of money available to local good causes throughout the lifetime of the solar farms.”
Consultation meetings will be held on Wednesday, May 20 from 5pm to 8pm at Wrestlingworth Memorial Hall; on Thursday, May 21 from 3pm to 7pm at Hatley Village Hall in Sandy; on Friday, May 22 from 3pm to 7pm at Guilden Morden Village Hall in Royston and on Saturday, May 23 from 10am to 1pm at Wrestlingworth Memorial Hall.