Plan revealed for largest solar farm
Development could produce electricity for 12,000 homes
A “very thorough community consultation” will begin next year as developers seek permission for Scotland’s largest solar farm, in the Angus countryside.
Energy firm Lightsource BP has pinpointed a sprawling plot near Piperdam for the scheme.
If it reaches its 49.9MW peak, it would match the largest solar farm in the country and generate more energy than all existing operational community and locally-owned renewable solar farms in Scotland put together.
Estimates suggest it could produce enough electricity to power 12,000 homes.
A spokesperson for the firm stressed the application is at its earliest stage but the concept has been welcomed.
Angus Council leader David Fairweather said: “Communities and a number of organisations will have to be consulted... but there is no question that solar farms can be much less visually intrusive than, for example, wind farms.”
A “speculative” application to construct the joint largest solar energy farm in Scotland is to go before planners.
A proposal of application notice has been lodged with Angus Council, firing the starting pistol on a process that could see solar arrays constructed on a substantial site to the west of Fowlis village, and south of Piperdam.
However, a spokesperson for the applicant stressed it is a “speculative application” and it is “very, very, early days.”
She said: “This is effectively a screening application, and detailed assessments have to be carried out which may see the project dropped.
“There are a number of issues that have to be taken into account when choosing a site, including environmental impact, heritage and other environmental assessments.
“We also have a very thorough community consultation process that we undertake.”
With a maximum capacity of 49.99MW, the scale of the proposed development matches the largest solar farm application in Scotland, located at a disused airfield in Moray.
The Angus farm also has potential to exceed the entire megawatt capacity of all operational community and locallyowned renewable solar farms in Scotland, which in 2017 stood at 45MW, contributing 7% of the total renewable energy generated north of the border.
Estimates vary, but similar-sized solar farms can produce enough electricity to power around 12,000 homes.
The application, if approved, would see the installation of a ground mounted solar energy generation system, associated infrastructure, including photovoltaic panels, substations, a communications building, and access tracks, CCTV and fencing.
The application was welcomed in principle by Angus Council leader David Fairweather.
He said: “Obviously, this is the very start of the process, but there is no question that we as a country must continue to explore renewable energy opportunities which will allow us to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels.”
The firm behind the application is Lightsource BP.
A public consultation event is scheduled to take place on January 28 at Easter Fowlis Hall from 2pm- 7.30pm.
How the solar energy farm could shape up if it gains approval from Angus Council.