Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Here comes the sun...

The first of two mentions for my village in the local paper today.

The first relates to the planning application for a SOLAR FARM.
This is an alternative renewable energy proposal to WIND ENERGY, and one that students could perhaps get involved in assessing for its potential benefits and problems for the local landscape.

There were some objections to the plan which received approval today, but also some good points made in its favour of course.
You can read the application, which includes a full appraisal of the site in the document which is linked to later in this blogpost.

One of the factors that had to be considered is the impact on local drainage. I pass the proposed site occasionally - it is not on what could be called a main route - and it is sloping, but doesn't appear to have the same drainage issues as other fields which have received a lot of rainfall in recent months.

If you have suitable digital mapping software, you can visit the proposed site at TF 87517 20010.

According to this BBC NEWS article the scheme had been opposed by Litcham Parish Council which said it opposed the "industrialisation of a tranquil area".

Also in the EDP was a quote from a Litcham resident:

“In my view it would be criminal damage to desecrate [the countryside] in the manner proposed. The countryside is being eroded at an ever-increasing pace. There must be a better place than this.”

I'm going to explore this a little more with a view to turning it into a possible activity for a unit - an alternative to the usual wind farms perhaps. 

Chapter 4 of 'Look at it this Way': Gone with the Wind, explores the changes that come about as a result of wind farms and similar developments. This could be a useful update / additional activity when using that chapter. Are these likely to become more common over the next few years ?
They will work when it isn't sunny - wind turbines won't work if it is't windy...

Click here to download the planning proposal as a PDF (PDF download)

Are there any proposed solar farm developments near you ?

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