UK’s First Solar Plant Gets Go-ahead

With about 5,000 2-metre high panels, the PV power plant is intended to generate 1.34 million kWh each year. 35 Degrees, the plant’s developer, intends to work with Solon SE on the project.

The plant will occupy 7.3 acres of Wheal Jane, a tin mine first worked in the mid 18th century and abandoned in 1992. Stephen McCabe, 35 Degrees’ managing director, described the project as “the first building block in bringing a new growth industry to Cornwall and the UK”.

The launch of a feed-in tariff in April 2010 has fuelled interest in solar power in the UK. Cornwall Council has estimated that solar power developments could bring up to £1 billion ($1.6 billion) in investment into England’s largely rural southwestern county.

“We’re seeing the start of a Cornwall solar gold rush as developers need to have built their farms, with full planning consent, by April 2012 to take full advantage of the Government scheme,” said Lucy Hunt, manager at Cornwall Development.

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