Local community asked to share views on Speedwell Solar Farm
The proposed 40MW solar farm has the potential to produce electricity equivalent to the needs of around 12,000 homes
Local people in Gwinear are being invited to find out about proposals for Speedwell Solar Farm and share their thoughts on the emerging plans at community consultation events to be held in late June and early July.
The proposed 40MW solar farm, which is being developed by Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, has the potential to produce electricity equivalent to the needs of around 12,000 homes.
The site, in the village of Gwinear, 3km east of Hayle, will have 94 acres of solar panels, and avoid building on high-grade agricultural land. Much of the rest of the 195-acre site will be used to improve local biodiversity, such as wildflower planting.
Statkraft has been making clean energy possible since 1895, with a reputation of leadership in renewables, and a strong track record of engaging with local communities to deliver projects that have long term value. The company works to maximise opportunities for local suppliers to be involved during the construction and operation phases.
As well as helping Cornwall Council and the UK Government achieve their net zero targets, the proposed project will have further benefits. Speedwell will see a biodiversity net gain of at least 10%, meaning wildlife habitats will be in a better state than before the project was developed.
Once the solar farm is operational, a Community Benefit Fund of £8,000 per year will be in place for the lifetime of the project, focusing on community improvement, outdoor activities, education, and sustainability. Statkraft have been exploring opportunities for how the project can deliver other benefits and have identified the possibility of creating a new biodiversity area, and a new car park for Gwinear Primary School.
Tim MacKeller, Statkraft’s Project Manager, said: “I encourage all residents to come along to one of our community events to find out more about the proposals and chat with me and other members of the project team. We’ve also organised a webinar for those that can’t attend in person. We’re keen to hear what people think and ideas for how we can maximise the benefits from the project to the local area.”
Those interested in finding out more can attend one of the community events from 4pm-8pm on Tuesday 27 June at Gwinear-Gwithian Parish Hall (TR27 5FN) and 2pm-5pm on Wednesday 28 June at Hall of Gwinear (TR27 5JL). Alternatively, there will be a webinar from 7pm-9pm on Wednesday 5 July. To register for the webinar, please call 0800 772 0668 or email UKProjects@statkraft.com.
Information about the proposals for Speedwell Solar Farm can also be found on the project website: www.speedwell-solar.co.uk