Sun may shine on solar farms after all!

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It appears the sun is not about to set on solar power in Market Rasen and West Lindsey.

The Rasen Mail can reveal that a company called Market Rasen Solar Farm Ltd has been registered, which is seeking potential sites in the Rasen area.

The directors are listed as Toddington Harper and Duncan Bott, who are also directors of Belectric UK, the British offshoot of a Bavarian company which is one of the world’s largest solar farm operators.

Belectric UK development and planning manager Raoul Tuffnell told the Rasen Mail that the Market Rasen company was set up in April in anticipation of the company finding suitable sites for a solar farm in the Rasen area.

“But at this stage we don’t have a suitable site. We are trying to find a suitable site. Staff haven’t visited yet, it’s early days. They have just done desk-based work on it,” he said.

Raoul says Belectric has 11 operational solar farms in the South and the Midlands. Landowners with potential sites, say of 10-11 acres, could contact the company.

“They have to be well-screened, away from the public eye,” he added.

Earlier this month, West Lindsey District Council turned down two solar farm planning applications at Burton and Burton-by-Lincoln. Council leader Jeff Summers told the Rasen mail the proposals would have taken up too much valuable farmland.

But Coun Summers saw scope for other solar projects. This comes as WLDC has also turned down wind farm proposals, such as at Hemswell Cliff.

“Solar panels are a far better bet than windfarms. I have far more confidence in solar farms producing energy. Certainly they are more pleasing to the eye. You don’t know they are there,” he said.

Already, West Lindsey District Council has approved plans for Britain’s largest solar farm at RAF Faldingworth. The project, approved in April, would see 196,000 south-facing solar modules spread across the 150 hectare site. The farm, sited on brownfield land, would generate 50MW of power, enough to generate 12,000 homes.

Work has yet to start on the project and with the company behind the project, Lunar Energy, being uncontactable, this has led to some belief the project is not going ahead.

However, a spokesman for planning consultants Barton Willmore, who has worked on the scheme, said he understood ‘Lunar Energy’ was a “development vehicle”- a “consortium of people and companies.” He believed the farm was still going ahead but was unable to confirm details as we went to press.