ANOTHER renewable energy company has revealed plans to build a solar farm in Hampshire.
Britain's leading solar energy generator Lightsource Renewable Energy is behind the scheme - one of many proposed or already approved in Hampshire – in the Test Valley.
The company is staging an on-site community information evening at Somborne Park in Little Somborne between 5.30pm and 8pm on Wednesday.
During the event at the proposed site off Somborne Park Road, Lightsource officials will unveil the company's initial designs for the project which if approved by Test Valley planners the site will generate enough electricity to power more than 3,270 homes annually.
Between 36,000 and 37,000 solar panels are proposed.
Planning and development director of London-based Lightsource, Conor McGuigan said: “Great care is taken with all of our sites throughout the planning stages and we believe that speaking to local people is the best way to help refine the designs to ensure they are the best fit for the surrounding community.
"Our plans will make as little impact on the surroundings as possible and the passive nature of the solar farm will mean that agricultural activities can continue on site. It is this ability to generate clean, safe electricity whilst maintaining a respect for rural traditions that makes solar power such a viable renewable energy source.”
He pointed out that the site was selected because it is already well-screened with natural vegetation and the company plans to enhance existing hedgerows and trees by planting more native species in a bid to reduce views onto the site which is on a triangle of farmland between Somborne Park Road in the west, the B3049 Stockbridge to Winchester road in the north and Whitehall Road in the east.
Lightsource has also teamed up with ecologists to create what it says is a 'bespoke biodiversity management plan' which will be put in place to ensure that native species benefit from planting, seeding and habitat creation. This includes wildflowers and grass to encourage birds, bees and other insects.
Mr McGuigan said the proposals are expected to cut carbon emissions by 5,580 annually.
There are a number of schemes waiting for planning permission to build solar farms in the Test Valley including at North Baddesley, Michelmersh, and Lee near Romsey.
Early this month German green energy giant Kronos Solar won the first round of its battle to build Britain's largest solar farm consisting of 225,456 panels on 200-arces of farmland at Houghton near Stockbridge.