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Vattenfall energy company propose onshore solar farm site in Herne Bay, alongside the A299 Thanet Way


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Another solar farm could be coming to Kent.

Vattenfall, a global energy company which operates the Thanet and Kentish Flats offshore wind farms, has announced a proposal to construct a 66-acre solar farm near Herne Bay.

If permission is granted construction would begin in 2021
If permission is granted construction would begin in 2021

The proposed location for the is south of the A299 Thanet Way and to the west of Thornden Wood Road, opposite the derelict Share and Coulter pub.

According to the Swedish energy giant, the completed project would have an installed capacity of 20MW, and provide enough electricity to power approximately 5,000 homes each year.

The proposal would share the existing grid connection and onshore infrastructure already utilised by the wind farms located offshore.

The organisation said that this would mean the construction process would take less time and minimise disruption.

Chris Angell, solar business development manager at Vattenfall, said: "Kent has huge potential to be one of the leading renewable energy hubs in the UK.

The Swedish energy giant are proposing the on-shore solar farm. Pic: Vattenfall
The Swedish energy giant are proposing the on-shore solar farm. Pic: Vattenfall

"We own and operate Kentish Flats, Kentish Flats Extension and Thanet offshore wind farms, which currently employ around 70 people and power over 400,000 UK homes.

"The development of innovative co-located wind and solar farms like Solar@Kentish Flats can aid the UK’s Green Recovery.

"We are committed to engaging with the local community throughout the planning process. To ensure the health and safety of our staff and the local community with regards to Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines we are planning to hold the information session online."

The energy company is inviting people from the local area to take part in an online information session on Wednesday, August 19 at 7pm, which will explain the proposed project in more detail.

If green light is given to Vattenfall to proceed with the project, it will not be the only solar farm in the south east.

The huge solar panel farm is due to be built in Graveney, between Whitstable and Faversham as a shift towards greener energy sources
The huge solar panel farm is due to be built in Graveney, between Whitstable and Faversham as a shift towards greener energy sources

In May, approval was granted to build the UK's largest solar farm in Faversham.

The 900-acre project would be complete with 880,000 solar panels - some raised as high as 3.9 metres because of flood risks.

But the firm in charge of the development, Cleve Hill Solar Park Limited, were met with fierce opposition from local people, on the grounds that wildlife and the surrounding eco-system would be significantly damaged.

Faversham MP Helen Whately says she was "disappointed" by the outcome.

She said: "We put forward a strong and positive message about how to make these marshes a better place for wildlife - but clearly it wasn’t enough to win the argument."

Members of the Graveney Rural Environment Action team, who battled against the huge Faversham development. Picture: Andy Jones
Members of the Graveney Rural Environment Action team, who battled against the huge Faversham development. Picture: Andy Jones

Vattenfall's proposed development is much smaller than Cleve Hill's green-lit project, and the firm hopes it will be able to start construction in 2021.

The energy company was recently blocked from extending one of their wind farm sites off the coast of Thanet, following concerns that the development consent order would have a negative effect on wildlife and block potential shipping routes.

The proposals would have seen 34 turbines sited 8km from the shore, which would reportedly generate more power than the existing 100 turbines, which sit 12km off Foreness Point.

To find out more about the proposal and to register for the online consultation, click here

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