Sunny outlook as solar park given green light

One of Scotland’s largest solar developments which will supply power for a town the size of Montrose is to push ahead.

Solar panels. Picture: PA
Solar panels. Picture: PA

Aberdeen-based BWE Partnership, which is owned by Ron Shanks, a businessman who has been involved in a number of on-shore wind energy projects, said work on the 50-acre site near Arbroath was due to begin by the end of the year.

The ground-mounted solar panels will generate 9.5 mega-watts – enough electricity to supply about 6,670 homes once operational in early 2016.

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The park is located on land leased from Robert and Brenda Jackson at New Mains of Guynd.

BWE said all of the appropriate legal agreements were in place including full planning permission.

Securing a connection to the national grid can be a major hurdle in a project of this type, however the firm has now secured a connection agreement with Scottish Hydro.

Shanks said: “This is an exciting time for BWE Partnership as we enter the construction stage of delivering what we believe is Scotland’s first large commercial solar park.

“This site was selected because of its excellent levels of irradiance which is vital to the effectiveness of a solar park as this powers the entire project.

“Scotland continues to build a strong reputation in the renewable energy sector and the build of this solar park will represent a significant step forward.”

Kevin Jackson, partner of the family farm, added: “This agreement with BWE Partnership will allow us to maximise income generation from our land without hindering day-to-day ­activities. I’m looking forward to seeing the solar park installed and operating.”

BWE said it continued to search for land for solar energy developments in east Scotland.