Solar farm: we need to put up a 20-metre mast

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Border Counties)

A controversial solar farm near Gobowen could become “unviable” unless further planning permission is granted.

Elgin Energy received the go-ahead for 20,000-panel green-energy scheme at Rhosygadfa 12 months ago.

But it is now looking for further approval of a 20-metre telecoms mast to provide an internet connection to transfer data from the solar farm to the substation at Ifton.

And it is against the clock as the site must be commissioned before March 31.

Agents Berrys said that after that date a “notable fall” in the Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) will “render the project unviable”.

They continued: “The connection will allow SP Energy Networks to shut down the solar farm in the event of a fault. The applicant has explored all avenues to avoid the requirement for a telecoms mast at the site, however BT have confirmed a fibre connection won’t be installed before March 31 and Scottish Power have confirmed a satellite broadband option is not reliable enough and, as such, is not a viable option.

“In the short term, the only viable option is the installation of a temporary mast.”

The mast will only be temporary as BT is expected to provide fibre broadband to the site in the next six to 18 months.

The solar farm has caused unrest in Rhosygadfa and Gobowen with many residents and councillors voicing concerns that it could impact the aesthetics of the area and damage tourism.

It was submitted and granted following the refusal of a 40,000 solar panel installation on the site.

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