- BEIS has given final approval to 350 MW Cleve Hill Solar Park in the UK
- Project will be developed without state subsidies and accompanied by energy storage component
- Developers claim around £27.25 million investment to local authorities over a minimum 25-year period through the project
The UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has cleared the final hurdle for the subsidy free 350 MW Cleve Hill Solar Park by granting development consent to what is being called as the largest solar park in the country. BEIS Secretary of State Alok Sharma took the final decision approving the recommendation submitted by an examining authority in February 2020, despite concerns from the locals regarding alteration of landscape and visual effects of the area due to the plant.
A joint venture between Hive Energy Ltd. and Wirsol Energy Ltd., Cleve Hill Solar Park will be constructed near Faversham and Whitstable on the North Kent Coast. It can be accompanied by an additional energy storage facility of more than 50 MW capacity. The sheer scale of this project classifies it as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), said the developers who see the park bringing in around £27.25 million ($33.6 million) investment to local authorities over a minimum of 25 years.
The UK Solar Trade Association (STA) has welcomed the decision of the BEIS in favor of the ‘largest solar park ever constructed in the UK’ calling it a major milestone for affordable renewables.
“Solar has a significant role to play in boosting the economy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. With the right policies we can expect to see an 8 GW pipeline of solar projects unlocked and rapidly deployed, swiftly creating a wealth of skilled jobs and setting us on the path towards a green recovery,” STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett.