Solar park is planned for farmland north of Wantage

Herald Series: Kronos Solar Director Dr Alexander Arcache at a public consultation for a solar park on land near Chadwicks Farm   Main picture: OX65501 Mark Hemsworth Buy this photo Kronos Solar Director Dr Alexander Arcache at a public consultation for a solar park on land near Chadwicks Farm Main picture: OX65501 Mark Hemsworth

A SOLAR farm, the size of more than 70 football pitches, could soon be built on land north of Wantage.

German company Kronos Solar has unveiled its plans to put enough solar panels to provide electricity for 15,000 people on land west of Garford.

The Munich-based company held a public consultation in Garford Village Hall on Monday and says it is just weeks away from putting in a planning application.

Dr Alexander Arcache, a director of Kronos Solar, said: “It is the perfect location for a solar park, with very limited visual impact.

“It has fantastic access to the grid and it is low grade farmland, though it would be possible to keep it as farmland to graze sheep even if the solar park was built.

“We have had a very long search for a suitable site and this is for us the best location for a solar park.”

Dr Arcache said the company does not own the 50-hectare site but will rent it from the landowner.

The firm’s “core markets” are Germany, Poland, Romania and the UK. It has solar farms in Cornwall, Wales and the Isle of Wight.

The company said it would be willing to give cash to Garford to mitigate the scheme’s impact.

Mike Greig, a resident of Garford, said: “I have got mixed views. You cannot actually see it because it is south facing and it is behind hedgerows.”

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But he added: “I worry about the economics of it.

“ suspect that this is an extremely economically inefficient way of generating electricity in Oxfordshire.”

Another resident said: “We have two concerns – one is the impact on our view of the Ridgeway but from a wider perspective there is growing concern about the number of these solar farms cropping up in the area.

“I support renewable energy but my question is whether it needs to be in this particular spot.”

In 2013, plans were lodged for 1,833 acres in Oxfordshire covered with solar panels – more than four times the 427 acres in 2012.

This worries groups such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England. Work has already started on a 230-acre solar farm at Landmead Farm near East Hanney, set to become the largest in the UK.

OTHER PROJECTS

  • Barnards Gate, Eynsham – 64 acres, approved
  • Besselsleigh – 120 acres, proposed
  • Landmead Farm, East Hanney – 230 acres, in progress
  • Elms Farm, Crab Hill, Grove – 145 acres, proposed
  • Hill Farm, Steventon – 71 acres, in progress
  • Orta, East Hendred – proposed
  • Goose Willow Farm, Steventon – 177 acres, approved
  • Culham Science Park – 37 acres, proposed
  • Harwell Science Campus – 416 acres, proposed

Comments (8)

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4:21pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Oflife says...

Brilliant initiative! PLEASE beware people whose motives for opposing such ventures may not be genuine. A specific portion of our population works for or has fiscal interests in the awful oil/fracking industry and would rather we do not use a source of almost free clean energy when they can pollute the Earth for a quick buck. Mr. Cameron, are you reading this? Instead of going "All out" on fracking, how about, all out on solar?

@lifemachine
Brilliant initiative! PLEASE beware people whose motives for opposing such ventures may not be genuine. A specific portion of our population works for or has fiscal interests in the awful oil/fracking industry and would rather we do not use a source of almost free clean energy when they can pollute the Earth for a quick buck. Mr. Cameron, are you reading this? Instead of going "All out" on fracking, how about, all out on solar? @lifemachine Oflife
  • Score: -1

4:48pm Thu 27 Feb 14

EMBOX2 says...

Good idea, even better if the land can still be used for sheep/animal grazing.

Support this 100%. Get it done.
Good idea, even better if the land can still be used for sheep/animal grazing. Support this 100%. Get it done. EMBOX2
  • Score: 2

8:09pm Thu 27 Feb 14

saddletramp says...

Brilliant !!
Ha ha,dont make me laugh.
"Enough solar panels to heat 15,000 homes"
Yes if the suns shining and the temperature is above 30 degrees C.
Otherwise (90% of the time in England)they produce nowt,zilch,zero.
Just like wind turbines,a waste of time and money.
Oh how I wish all the supporters of "green energy" could have their houses wired up to "green only" energy supplies.
Who do you think would be first on the letters page,lodging their complaints,because the "fossil family"across the road had electricity,while they were out shopping for candles?
Brilliant !! Ha ha,dont make me laugh. "Enough solar panels to heat 15,000 homes" Yes if the suns shining and the temperature is above 30 degrees C. Otherwise (90% of the time in England)they produce nowt,zilch,zero. Just like wind turbines,a waste of time and money. Oh how I wish all the supporters of "green energy" could have their houses wired up to "green only" energy supplies. Who do you think would be first on the letters page,lodging their complaints,because the "fossil family"across the road had electricity,while they were out shopping for candles? saddletramp
  • Score: 6

8:36pm Thu 27 Feb 14

DuncanB says...

saddletramp wrote:
Brilliant !!
Ha ha,dont make me laugh.
"Enough solar panels to heat 15,000 homes"
Yes if the suns shining and the temperature is above 30 degrees C.
Otherwise (90% of the time in England)they produce nowt,zilch,zero.
Just like wind turbines,a waste of time and money.
Oh how I wish all the supporters of "green energy" could have their houses wired up to "green only" energy supplies.
Who do you think would be first on the letters page,lodging their complaints,because the "fossil family"across the road had electricity,while they were out shopping for candles?
Solar panels produce more power when the sun is shining, but they are actually a lot less efficient when it is warm. They will however produce power even on cloudy days.

I too wish that supporters of green energy could have their houses wired up to green only energy suppliers.Oh look they can: Ecotricity now supply 100% green energy to all of their customers. Of course it doesn't really work that way, the electricity and gas your supplier provides doesn't really reach your home, both electric grid and gas are a mix from all suppliers no matter who you pay for your power, but nevertheless renewables are an increasing proportion.
[quote][p][bold]saddletramp[/bold] wrote: Brilliant !! Ha ha,dont make me laugh. "Enough solar panels to heat 15,000 homes" Yes if the suns shining and the temperature is above 30 degrees C. Otherwise (90% of the time in England)they produce nowt,zilch,zero. Just like wind turbines,a waste of time and money. Oh how I wish all the supporters of "green energy" could have their houses wired up to "green only" energy supplies. Who do you think would be first on the letters page,lodging their complaints,because the "fossil family"across the road had electricity,while they were out shopping for candles?[/p][/quote]Solar panels produce more power when the sun is shining, but they are actually a lot less efficient when it is warm. They will however produce power even on cloudy days. I too wish that supporters of green energy could have their houses wired up to green only energy suppliers.Oh look they can: Ecotricity now supply 100% green energy to all of their customers. Of course it doesn't really work that way, the electricity and gas your supplier provides doesn't really reach your home, both electric grid and gas are a mix from all suppliers no matter who you pay for your power, but nevertheless renewables are an increasing proportion. DuncanB
  • Score: 0

9:07pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

Let's have solar energy farms but how about using British firms and British workers ?
Let's have solar energy farms but how about using British firms and British workers ? Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: 1

9:38am Fri 28 Feb 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

saddletramp wrote:
Brilliant !!
Ha ha,dont make me laugh.
"Enough solar panels to heat 15,000 homes"
Yes if the suns shining and the temperature is above 30 degrees C.
Otherwise (90% of the time in England)they produce nowt,zilch,zero.
Just like wind turbines,a waste of time and money.
Oh how I wish all the supporters of "green energy" could have their houses wired up to "green only" energy supplies.
Who do you think would be first on the letters page,lodging their complaints,because the "fossil family"across the road had electricity,while they were out shopping for candles?
"When the sun is shining and it is hot."

When do you think the peak load for air conditioning is?
[quote][p][bold]saddletramp[/bold] wrote: Brilliant !! Ha ha,dont make me laugh. "Enough solar panels to heat 15,000 homes" Yes if the suns shining and the temperature is above 30 degrees C. Otherwise (90% of the time in England)they produce nowt,zilch,zero. Just like wind turbines,a waste of time and money. Oh how I wish all the supporters of "green energy" could have their houses wired up to "green only" energy supplies. Who do you think would be first on the letters page,lodging their complaints,because the "fossil family"across the road had electricity,while they were out shopping for candles?[/p][/quote]"When the sun is shining and it is hot." When do you think the peak load for air conditioning is? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

9:52am Fri 28 Feb 14

TobyB1960 says...

How about all the new 20,000 new homes planned for the Vale to have south facing roofs which had solar panels installed. Then again perhaps not it would require the district council to actually do some planning instead of reacting.
How about all the new 20,000 new homes planned for the Vale to have south facing roofs which had solar panels installed. Then again perhaps not it would require the district council to actually do some planning instead of reacting. TobyB1960
  • Score: 1

6:43pm Fri 28 Feb 14

DuncanB says...

TobyB1960 wrote:
How about all the new 20,000 new homes planned for the Vale to have south facing roofs which had solar panels installed. Then again perhaps not it would require the district council to actually do some planning instead of reacting.
South facing isn't essential, East and West can be about as good (especially if you have panels on both East & West which could be better than just South alone). Totally with you though that they should require panels on all the new houses.
[quote][p][bold]TobyB1960[/bold] wrote: How about all the new 20,000 new homes planned for the Vale to have south facing roofs which had solar panels installed. Then again perhaps not it would require the district council to actually do some planning instead of reacting.[/p][/quote]South facing isn't essential, East and West can be about as good (especially if you have panels on both East & West which could be better than just South alone). Totally with you though that they should require panels on all the new houses. DuncanB
  • Score: 2

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