Contractor sought to build 40 MW UK solar park


Planning approval has been secured for one of Britain‘s largest solar projects and the developers are now seeking a contractor to construct the 37-40 MW site this summer.

The solar park will be built on land at the privately-owned Southwick Estate between Winchester and Portsmouth in the south east English county of Hampshire.

Winchester City Council gave the green light for the GBP40 million (US$65.3 million) development after an application by Welborne Solar Ltd – a joint venture between estate owner Mark Thistlethwayte and Hampshire-based solar park developer Hive Energy.

Giles Redpath, CEO of Hive Energy, told pv magazine the park will be ‘almost invisible’ from public areas and would increase biodiversity and protect local ecology.

"The solar farm will be sited in the middle of a 7,500-acre private estate and will be screened from the only public footpath nearby," said Redpath. "The project will be built on agricultural land with limited biodiversity value and will feature wild grass flower meadows under the panels, bat and bird boxes and increased hedging.

"The exact details vary from project to project depending on local ecology but we frequently also install beehives and any other measures to encourage native species."

With planning permission secured, Welborne Solar is asking contractors to tender interest in constructing the site. Interested parties are asked to email for details.