Large solar farm plan for Trowbridge goes public
5:00pm Thursday 1st May 2014 in By Andy Baber, Senior reporter for Trowbridge
Plans for a 40-hectare solar farm at Cockhill Farm in Trowbridge went on show to the public on Thursday at Walwayne Court Primary School.
Gaiger Solar, which was set up by Devizes-based business Gaiger Brothers, has developed the plans for a 20 megawatt solar farm at Cockhill Farm, off Cockhill.
It will generate enough renewable electricity to power around 6,000 average homes and will save approximately 9,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year compared with electricity generated from fossil fuels.
A community benefit fund will be established, paying £1,000 per MW installed capacity for the 25-year lifetime of the solar farm – amounting to £20,000 a year or £500,000 for the project lifetime.
Sam Gaiger, director of Gaiger Solar, said: “As a local, family-run business, we want to invest to help ensure a sustainable future for Wiltshire and we believe solar energy is a good way to do that.
“Cockhill Farm is a great site for a solar park – it is adjacent to the Trowbridge sewage works and an industrial estate, and will be well screened, so it shouldn’t have an impact on any views.
“The land is of low agricultural value, and we’ll be improving its biodiversity by sowing wild flowers and grasses around the solar panels to make it a haven for wildlife.”
The site consists of two fields and is bounded on the north by the Kennet and Avon canal, while the railway line lies to the east, the sewage works to the south and the A363 Trowbridge Road to the west.
Gaiger Solar has also recently had a planning application for a 10 MW solar farm at Marsh Farm, Hilperton, approved by Wiltshire Council’s planning department, under delegated powers.
Building work on the Hilperton solar farm, which will cover 21 hectares and generate enough renewable electricity to supply the equivalent of 3,000 average homes, is expected to start later in the summer.
Mr Gaiger added: “We worked closely with Hilperton Parish Council to make sure the application was acceptable in terms of visual impact.”
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