Former opencast mine to be transformed into solar and wind energy park
A former opencast mine is to be home to a solar and wind energy site after UK property regeneration company Harworth Estates and RES, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, secured planning consent.
The site forms part of the former Arkwright opencast mining operation, close to the village of Duckmanton, near Chesterfield, which has been reclaimed and restored to agricultural land.
Chesterfield Borough Council’s Planning Committee has given its unanimous backing for the7.5MW scheme, which will cover 48 acres. RES plans to construct the solar array, which will be capable of generating enough energy to power 1,500 family homes, in summer 2015.
This planning consent follows Harworth’s completion on adjacent land of a 500KW wind turbine in partnership with Energy Prospects Co-operative Ltd. This turbine will provide enough power for a further 1,000 family homes. Harworth’s Natural Resources division is also bringing forward a further 2 solar schemes in 2015, one in Doncaster and one in Nottinghamshire, as part of its contribution to the UK’s energy mix.
Hannah Moxon, Assistant Management Surveyor in Harworth’s Natural Resources division, said: “I’m delighted that the Planning Committee recognised the benefits of transforming this former colliery landholding into an asset of lasting value. Having solar development on the same site as the wind turbine is an excellent demonstration of the compatibility of these two renewable technologies. We look forward to working with RES to get the scheme operational by the end of this year.”
RES project manager Eliot Davies said: “From detailed site investigations, RES has always believed that this is a great site for a solar farm and we have designed a project that will maximise renewable energy generation while minimising impacts on the local environment and local people.”
Harworth has developed a series of renewable energy schemes on its land in partnership with a number of leading energy companies, creating new clean energy to power thousands of homes and businesses. The company’s portfolio currently includes three operational wind schemes and three operational solar farms.
Harworth’s Natural Resources division is dedicated to developing low-carbon energy developments. It has a pipeline of projects with the potential to deliver 170MW of power from its low-carbon energy schemes – enough to power 50,000 family homes.