British Solar Renewables has successfully secured planning permission for an 11MW solar farm in St. Allen, Truro. The land is part of an existing sheep and llama farm and, as well as providing the farmer landowner with a regular source of income to bolster his existing business, the solar farm will also provide enough clean energy to the local grid to power the equivalent of 3,125 average households. 

Third-generation farmer landowner Tom Tripp said: “We are thrilled that the solar farm has been given the go-ahead. I have farmed sheep for the last 25 years and can now do so for the next 25 years.  I can even graze them in the solar farm! The regular rental income it will provide will both cement our core farming business for the future and enable us to extend our llama educational, trekking and therapy offering – both things that we are very passionate about!”

The solar farm will incorporate approximately 45,000 solar panels mounted on steel frames. These will be applied directly to the ground, negating the need for concrete, and arranged in rows. The total maximum height of the structures will be 2.9m.

Each of British Solar Renewables’ solar farms has a pre-determined, tailored landscape and environment strategy and, in this case, it will focus on biodiversity. As well as planting five species of native hedgerow and tree, the plan includes the sowing of seed to encourage natural wildlife and, in particular, wild birds. This complements conservation work already undertaken by the farmer landowner.

The 60-acre site was chosen for its location; it offers high sun irradiation which is ideal for a solar farm yet there will be almost no demonstrable visual impact,” said Angus Macdonald, Managing Director at British Solar Renewables.