When Lightsource Energy and Solar Century opted to develop a large solar farm on a closed tine mine site in the UK they were laying a solid footprint for responsible land use and stewardship.
As Derry Newman, Solarcentury’s CEO, stated: “To see a tin mine diversify into producing 21st century clean solar energy, provides an optimistic glimpse of where we’re now heading for our energy production. Wheal Jane’s solar farm demonstrates that solar technology can contribute to our clean energy future, and quickly.”
Solar farms of this scale are starting to have more of a featured position in the renewable energy mix of this country. Solarcentury designed and constructed this site, powering over 400 homes, in less than two months.
“Solar is not to be underestimated; it is the fastest growing energy technology in the world, simply because it is clean, reliable and a readily available alternative to fossil fuels,” added Newman.
In Germany, such news is even more impressive. According to Renewable Energy World, Saferay’s 78-MW plant on former open-pit mining lands near Senftenberg in eastern Germany includes 330,000 crystalline solar modules and 62 central inverter stations. Equally impressive, the plant was constructed in three months.
Innovative and responsible land is now part of the formula for successful renewable energy sites. “As large-scale solar plants become more common, developers will need to find ways to balance conservation and land-use issues with generating capacity,” writes TreeHugger.com.
Covering a 7.2acre plot in Cornwall the 1.4MW plant represents a significant undertaking for a country not familiar with large solar projects.
It is reasonable to expect more such news in the coming years concerning responsible land management practices.
Photo: Solar Century
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