• Scotland’s Moray Council has granted approval to a 20 MW solar power farm in Urquhart
  • Spread on a 47-hectare site, the plant will use 80,000 solar panels
  • All wiring will be done underground, hence there will be space for sheep to graze
  • Elgin Energy, the project developer, will not remove or alter natural vegetation but will carry out additional planting at the site
  • Permission has been granted for 30 years, post which the developer will have to decommission the farm and restore the site

Moray Council in Scotland has granted approvals for the development of a 20 MW solar PV farm, which will be the largest in the country. It will be located near Urquhart on the 47-hectare Speyslaw site.

Currently the largest PV farm in Scotland is 13 MW plant in Perth, also developed by Elgin Energy.

Moray Council’s approval means local developer Elgin Energy can go ahead with the setting up of the farm installing around 80,000 solar panels. All wiring will be underground, which is supposed to leave space for sheep to graze. The project developer will not remove or alter natural vegetation, but will even carry out additional planting.

Permission has been granted for a period of 30 years from the time the energy is started to be fed into the grid from the site. Post this period, the developer will need to decommission the farm and restore the site to a condition agreed with the council.

Elgin Energy will need to submit reports about the farm’s energy generation to the council on a regular basis.

The opportunity to continue grazing on the land, together with the Habitat Management Plan, will maintain and enhance the diverse range of species in and around the site, ” said Cllr Claire Feaver, chair of Moray Council’s Planning and Regulatory Services Committee. “I see this as a win-win.”

Elgin Energy has developed PV projects across the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It has built 250 MW in the UK so far.