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Willersey Solar Farm

Willersey Solar Farm is situated 1.5km to the north of Willersey on the east of the Badsey Road.
It contains 42,000 photo voltaic modules and covers 22.4 acres of Grade 3b agricultural land.
Maximum power generation will be 3.8 MW - enough power for about 1100 houses.
Here is the Development Company Website
and a copy of the planning application which gives much useful detail.

Willersey Solar Farms

An underside view of the panels showimg their supports and how much free space there is.

Notes about Solar Farms

• For every 5MW installed, a solar farm will power 1,515 homes for a year and not generate 2,150 tonnes of CO2.
• They represent time-limited, reversible land use and provide a diversified and stable source of income for landowners.
• They may have dual purpose usage with sheep or other animals grazing between rows, and can help to support biodiversity by allowing small animals access to otherwise fenced-off land, with bird and insect fodder plants and wildflowers sown around the modules. Here is a a very informative leaflet enlarging on these possibilities.
• If 10,000MW of solar panels were installed on the ground, it would only use 0.1% of UK agricultural land area, whilst being able to generate enough electricity for over 3 million homes.
• There are no moving parts and the only sound is a quiet hum from the inverters to convert the generated direct current to alternating current at high voltage to feed into the electricity grid. By placing the inverters in the middle of the site there is no perceptable external noise. The birds can be louder than the inverters! With no moving parts, maintenance is minimal. Here is a aerial video of the farm.
• There is no by-product or waste generated, except during manufacturing or dismantling.
• They have lower visual and environmental impacts than other forms of power generation.

The developers of Willersey Solar Farm have other projects underway and they were available for investment until June 10th 2015. More may follow.
Here is a very informative article about investing in these solar panels. You also can visit the solar farm.
Sadly because the government cancelled the climate change levy exemption for solar panels the scheme was wound up in November 2016.

A comment on land use: The UK has 36,000 acres of apple orchards and an extra 72,000 would provide enough apples to remove apple imports. Currently there are 15,000 acres of solar farms countrywide, in areas for livestock mostly, so say sheep may still graze under the panels. In October 2014, there were about a further planned 18,000 acres of solar farms in the pipeline but do note that there are 670,000 acres of golf courses in UK! In time, as more land is developed, we can choose to eat, keep the lights on, or play golf?

Willersey Solar Farm has become one of the larger flower meadows in the North Cotswolds.

Willersey Solar Farm Meadow 1     Willersey Solar Farm Meadow 2

Some facts about thesolar farms
“Renewables give the customer the choice of buying green electricity and reduce reliance on scarce fossil fuels.”
The Solar Trade Association (STA) “Solar Farms: 10 Commitments”
Solar farm developers, builders or tenants who are members of the STA will comply with the following best practice guidance:-
  1. We will focus on non-agricultural land or land which is of lower agricultural quality.
  2. We will be sensitive to nationally and locally protected landscapes and nature conservation areas, and we welcome opportunities to enhance the ecological value of the land.
  3. We will minimise visual impact where possible and maintain appropriate screening throughout the lifetime of the project managed through a Land Management and/or Ecology plan.
  4. We will engage with the community in advance of submitting a planning application.
  5. We will encourage land diversification by proposing continued agricultural use or incorporating biodiversity measures within our projects.
  6. We will do as much buying and employing locally as possible.
  7. We will act considerately during construction, and demonstrate ‘solar stewardship’ of the land for the lifetime of the project.
  8. We will seek the support of the local community and listen to their views and suggestions.
  9. We commit to using the solar farm as an educational opportunity, where appropriate.
10. At the end of the project life we will return the land to its former use.

Ever-increasing worldwide use of oil, gas, and coal—fossil fuel—leads to more carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which in turn causes global warming. In addition, fossil fuel is a limited resource. We need to develop the other energy sources, that produce little or no CO2 emissions. The solution lies with the environment around us: sunlight, wind, water, plants, and heat from the Earth. Wood has been burned for heating and cooking since humans first learned to make fire. Windmills helped irrigate the fields of ancient Persians. The ancient Greeks and Romans used falling water to turn waterwheels. But by the early 20th century, cheaper fossil fuels all but replaced these traditional sources in many places as the provider of power. Unlike that from fossil fuels, energy from sunlight, wind, water, plants, and geothermal heat does not create extra carbon dioxide, and so does not add to global warming. Unlike fossil fuels, which will become increasingly scarce, these fuel sources are renewable and will never run out. One day, they must completely replace fossil fuels.

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