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Sheep and sun at ‘solar park’
2:00pm Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
A £5M ‘solar park’ with sheep grazing beneath more than 20,000 energy absorbing panels is to be built in the Vale by the end of March.
The green energy site at Rotherdale Farm, Long Lane, Tilesford, near Pinvin, has been given the go-ahead by Wychavon District Council.
It will be build on 28 acres by Vale Green Energy, which alongside sister company Evesham Vale Growers, already produces a large amount of energy from farming waste products.
Matthew Powell, operations manager, said: “We are hoping to have the park built by March. The response has been very positive and most people have said they think it is a great idea. The sheep grazing happens at other places. It is a way of controlling the grass.”
The company already produces energy through burning waste products from its farming operations and crops, which is injected back into the national grid, to support Vale households.
Mr Powell said: “Because we do a lot of production of crops in greenhouses we use a lot of energy so the more we can produce the better.”
The solar park, which will have a lifespan of between 20 to 25 years and can then be removed, will have 20,625 solar panels.
Councillor Liz Tucker said: “As far as I am concerned it is very exciting. The people I have spoken to are generally in favour of green energy.
The land is not top quality farmland and they are going to run sheep underneath the screens, so the land will still be used for grazing.”
The park is expected to produce up to 5MW of renewable electricity to be exported to the national grid.
• Plans for a solar park with about 16,000 panels just outside Mickleton, which recently raised serious concern and 120 letters of objection from residents, will be decided next month.