October 28, 2012
South Hams DC Approves 5 MW Solar Park at Hatchlands Farm near Harberton
South Hams District Council have approved plans for what the Design and Access Statement refers to as
A 5 megawatt solar PV farm on 13.24 hectares of grade 3 agricultural land
at Hatchlands Farm between Harberton and South Brent. This site is literally just down the road from the 8 MW solar PV park at Marley Thatch Farm that was approved by South Hams earlier this year. Here's what the area between South Brent and Totnes currently looks like on our interactive map and list of large scale solar PV projects in South West England:
As you can see, both the sites (with red markers) have convenient high voltage overhead power lines running nearby. Note there also two green markers, representing prospective solar PV parks at Hazard Farm and the Bidwell Solar Park near Dartington. When taken together with the prospective Totnes Community Wind Farm nearby, this all adds up to getting on for 30 MW (peak!) electricity generating capacity in one small area of South Devon countryside.
Needless to say the Hatchlands Farm planning application repeats the solar PV mantra that:
Devon has some of the highest irradiation levels in the UK – This is crucial to ensure a viable capacity factor, which is the percentage of time the park will be operational (of the total amount of hours in the year)
Now I don't know about you, but I've noticed a conspicuous absence of solar irradiation in Devon this summer, accompanied by a conspicuous presence of wind, rain and floods. Personally I can't help but wonder how many MWh of electrical energy whichever of these projects actually get built will finally have delivered to the UK National Grid by the time they are ultimately decommissioned, and how many tonnes of carbon dioxide they will actually have saved from being emitted into our atmosphere.
Whilst I ponder that conundrum, here's the latest news from the Harbertonford village web site:
The Harbourne river topped the flood defence dam for the first time on 7th July . The flood defence dam is expected to overflow on average once in forty years, which was today. Harbertonford began to flood, but much later than it otherwise would have. The water subsided by 11 o'clock but did enter some low lying homes.
They have a number of pictures of that event, plus another showing kites flying over Luscombe Cross.
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