UK solar giant given go-ahead

4 June 2020

The UK government has granted permission for the construction of a 350 MW solar farm to go ahead.

The Cleve Hill solar park is being developed by Hive Energy and Wirsol and is set to be the largest of its kind in the UK. It will also be equipped with battery storage capacity. The £450 million project will be built near Faversham in Kent, SE England and will comprise 880 000 solar panels. It will not require government subsidies and is due to start operating in 2022, Hive Energy said.

Hive and Wirsol say that the scheme is “pioneering”, in part because of its planned east-west panel orientation, which will enable it to generate 44 per cent more energy compared with the same site using the more usual south-orientated panels. They also say that the project will make an important contribution to the UK’s plans to become a net zero economy by 2050.

Solar Trade Association Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “The government has shown that it recognises the vital contribution solar can make to Britain’s energy mix. This is a major milestone on the road towards a UK powered by clean, affordable renewables.”

“Solar has a significant role to play in boosting the economy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. With the right policies we can expect to see an 8 GW pipeline of solar projects unlocked and rapidly deployed, swiftly creating a wealth of skilled jobs and setting us on the path towards a green recovery.”

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