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Old RAF Base Could House Largest Solar Farm In The UK

RAF Faldingworth is not too far from Market Rasen in Lincolnshire. The airfield was used in the Second World War by bombers and later stored nuclear weapons. Interestingly, in the 1990s the airfield was used to train riot police.

It would now appear that it is going to be put to good use as planning permission has been granted to create a solar farm that could become the biggest one of its kind anywhere in the UK. That is, of course, assuming that another site, in the meantime, does not beat it to achieving such a record!

Solar farms are playing a significant part in the UK striving towards meeting its renewable energy target – Image credit: Michael Mees.

It is expected that the solar farm will have around 196,000 solar panels installed at the airfield. We are sure you will agree that is a huge development. In fact, that number of solar photovoltaic panels could cover an area of around the size of 210 rugby pitches.
Those solar panels are apparently capable of producing 50 MW of capacity providing enough electricity for anything up to 12,000 residential properties. It is felt that the site will have limited visual impact in the community.

You may well have read in recent months of the concerns expressed by a number of people about the siting of large solar farms in general as some felt they were going to be a blight on the countryside. The British government were keen to ensure that planning authorities took the views of the community into account. It is interesting to read in the case of RAF Faldingworth that there was only one public objection received in respect of this proposed solar farm.

Obviously, solar farms are a major contributor towards the UK meeting its renewable energy and carbon emission targets as we head towards 2020 so the above should be seen as a positive step in the right direction.

Any of our readers’ thoughts would be most welcome.

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