The UK government gave the green-light for plans to develop the region’s largest solar park, Cleve Hill Solar Park, on the north Kent coast. The project will be developed by a joint venture of Hive Energy and Wirsol Energy and will cost £450 million. The project will have a capacity of 350 MW and will use over 880,000 solar panels. The project will generate enough energy to power more than 91,000 homes. The project is also set to include an energy storage facility to send electricity to the grid as and when required.

The UK government is targeting net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 and is aiming to remove coal from Britain’s energy system by the year 2025. It recently announced it would consult on moving this deadline to October 1, 2024. To this end the promotion of renewables becomes necessary.

While the approval of the scheme has been welcomed by some, concerns have been raised about its impact on the local landscape and wildlife and the project has been opposed by a number of organisations. Meanwhile, the developers say they have collaborated with local groups and nature conservation bodies.

Recently, Leicestershire County Council announced plans for a solar farm which could produce nearly 10,000 MWh of electricity annually once commissioned. If the plans are approved, the first phase of the development is estimated to cost approximately £14 million.