For the past five years, Clinton Devon Estates has been researching a variety of sustainable energy projects, including biomass, wind energy, anaerobic digestion and solar PV. As landowners and land managers, we have a responsibility to do our part in finding sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels in the right place and at the right time to help the UK to secure 12% of its heat demand from renewable sources by 2020.
Our decision to proceed with an application for a solar park on the edge of Exmouth follows rigorous research and development involving surveys and feasibility studies at different locations and a two year trial of a small scale solar PV system on a brown field site in East Devon.
Our proposed scheme on the edge of Liverton Business Park has the potential to provide a peak output of 4MW – enough energy to power 1,031 homes a year. The Exmouth site not only offers the opportunity for businesses at Liverton to benefit from lower energy costs, it is also close to a National Grid connection point and is on south-facing land to maximise energy generation. The site is largely hidden from view, screened by existing hedgerows and woodlands, and is outside the East Devon AONB.
This proposed scheme will cover 10 hectares of farmland which has previously been used for grazing cattle. There is an opportunity for the tenant farmer to be involved in the project and its ongoing management by grazing sheep on the land and we are in close contact with him about this and all aspects of the proposal.
The National Planning Policy states that “the responsibility is on all communities to contribute energy generation from renewable sources” and we intend that Liverton Solar Park will contribute to East Devon’s energy requirements while, at the same time, respecting our environment.
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