SOLAR FARM FAQs
Click here to download our latest solar farm 'Frequently Asked Questions' paper which gives comprehensive answers to all of the questions that we're asked most often about the development, siting and construction of solar projects.
Do we need solar?
Why solar power?
Who pays for it?
What exactly is a solar farm?
Do solar farms compete with food production?
What impact do solar farms have on the British landscape?
Are REthink solar farms built to match 'Best Practice'?
Are solar farms safe?
What will the solar farm look like?
Do solar farms affect wildlife?
How will the local residents benefit?
Will the solar farm increase traffic to the neighbourhood?
What is the impact of a solar farm on property prices?
Are there any increased flood risks?
Will solar farms cause glint or glare?
Do solar farms emit any noise?
Are CCTV camera used?
Do solar farms emit any light?
If there's a solar project being proposed near you, this should be essential reading.
Solar Farms: The Right Time
Solar Farms: The Right Place
SOLAR FARMS IN YOUR COMMUNITY
The electricity generated by a solar farm near you is connected to the grid locally and is used locally. This means that, in all likelihood, if you live near a solar farm, the vast majority of the electricity that you use in your home was generated by those panels. You’re already fighting the good fight.
While the solar farm is generating electricity it also has the effect of reducing the local demand on the National Grid. This will help secure green energy for your county and reduce your county’s carbon footprint..
The technology itself is safe, simple and produces no emissions The solar panels and the associated components don’t move so they are effectively silent. The switch housings do contain cooling fans however these only cut in when the outside temperature exceeds 30 degrees and then operate to bring the temperature down to below 25 degrees. Because of this, they operate infrequently, almost always only during peak sun hours in the daytime. Given that these components sit in insulated boxes, external noise is minimal and given that the components will be in the middle of a field, you’re unlikely ever to hear them!
GREAT FOR WILDLIFE
From an ecological perspective, solar farms offer many pluses. On a typical solar farm, more than two thirds of the field will be left open and uncovered by solar panels. This unused land, and also all the land beneath the solar panels, will be left to repair naturally… rather than being ploughed and fertilized year in, year out, the soil will be allowed to recuperate and breathe, again providing a safe haven for wildlife. Hedgerows, made up from a locally appropriate mix of plant species, are planted to provide an extra level of screening for the sites and these hedgegrows provide a much needed haven for British wildlife.
At ReThink Energy, we prefer, wherever possible, to provide a dual use for the solar farm. We often underplant with either a clover mix or a wildlife mix which will be grazed by sheep to keep the undergrowth to a manageable level without the use of chemicals. It shouldn’t be a surprise that there is often a greater diversity of animal species living on land occupied by a solar farm than there is on an agricultural field worked year after year.
As an example, wildlife records from existing solar sites show that the warm air above the panels attracts certain insects which in turn attract skylarks. The birds are able to nest between the panels and benefit from the reduced levels of human activity.
The land owners themselves are also an important consideration. Climate change is wreaking havoc with the weather and therefore crop growing, particularly on poor quality soils, is becoming increasingly unprofitable. By leasing out a portion of their least productive land for a solar farm, the land owner is able to secure a stable income from at least one section of his land.
BUILDING A SOLAR FARM
Solar farms are straightforward and quick to build, and once operational they remain silently working away with only the need for very occasional maintenance checks which never affect your electricity supply. Racks to support the panels are piled into the ground and will be completely removed when the scheme is decommissioned in the future. Regulation requires us to construct a few very small containers to house electrical plant for the solar farm so overall there is minimal on-site construction and minimal disturbance to the local community during the construction phase. The solar system will be discreetly fenced off, hidden behind hedges.
Once complete, the site will not need further major construction during its lifetime. The land is managed over the course of the farm’s lifetime so that, once the panels and mounting kit is removed, it can be returned to its original use.
ReThink Energy is adamant that our solar farms always play an essential role in resting the land, allowing it to breathe and repair naturally and providing a safe haven for all kinds of British wildlife.