The Moray Council has given Elgin Energy the green light to build a 20MW solar farm near Urquhart in the Scottish Highlands. The 47-hectare (.18 square mile) Speyslaw site will be outfitted with around 80,000 solar panels.
Elgin Energy is the company behind a 13MW project in Perthshire that is currently Scotland’s largest solar farm, and the company is going to great lengths to ensure that the new build doesn’t interfere with the land’s current agricultural usage.
“Existing field boundaries will not be disturbed and mature hedgerows will provide generous screening for the site,” they wrote in a statement, according to BBC. All cabling for the project will be buried underground as well, allowing sheep to graze in and around the site.
The northeast of Scotland is well-suited for solar energy projects because it typically enjoys clear skies and long daylight hours. To take further advantage of these characteristics, Elgin Energy is also seeking planning permission for a 50MW farm near the city of Elgin.
A start date for the Moray build hasn’t yet been announced, but once completed, the amount of clean energy produced by the farm should help Scotland achieve its clean energy targets.
A Global Trend
Solar energy has reached a point where it’s both cost-effective and relatively straightforward to install. All over the world, the technology is being implemented on both the commercial and residential scale to help people meet their energy needs.
Last month, Indian Railways rolled out a train that’s topped with solar panels to provide power for its on-board lighting, fans, and other components, which is expected to save the company Rs41,000 crore ($6.31 billion) over the next decade.
Earlier this year, China became the largest producer of solar energy in the world, and in the U.S., former president Jimmy Carter is using a single solar farm to provide electricity for half of his town.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s affordable, efficient solar roofs are putting solar energy in the hands of the individual, and they could have a profound effect on how the nation meets its energy needs. Ikea has launched a line of solar panels and home battery packs for consumers in the U.K., and Lucid Motors is even proving our cars could be powered by solar energy.
Ultimately, solar is proving to be the energy source of the future, and this latest build in Scotland is likely just one of many new projects to come.