CT: Solar farms, or solar parks, are the large-scale application of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) installations used to generate electricity. They often cover large areas of land (between 1 and 100 acres) and therefore they are usually developed in rural locations. Approximately 25 acres of land is required for every 5 megawatts (MW) of installation, enough to power 1,515 homes1.
Solar farms go through a rigorous planning procedure to get approval. This takes into account the suitability of the site, any potential impact on the locality and relevant renewable energy targets.
The UK needs solar power to meet the 15% EU renewable energy targets by 2020, but it also creates investment and local green jobs, whilst reducing the reliance on overseas fossil fuel imports. As this valuable and rapidly deployable sector grows, solar will help businesses to manage their electricity costs while reducing their carbon emissions, and will provide a choice about where you obtain your power.
S: http://www.solar-trade.org.uk/solarFarms.cfm (last access: 20 December 2014)
N: 1. solar (adj): mid-15c., “pertaining to the sun,” from Latin solaris “of the sun,” from sol “sun”. Meaning “living room on an upper story” is from Old English, from Latin solarium. Old English had sunlic “solar.”
farm (n): c.1300, “fixed payment (usually in exchange for taxes collected, etc.), fixed rent,” from Old French ferme “a rent, lease” (13c.), from Medieval Latin firma “fixed payment,” from Latin firmare “to fix, settle, confirm, strengthen,” from firmus “firm”.
2. Installing a solar farm is an ideal way to increase land value and utilise space with poor soil quality. For this reason, brownfield sites or those with a land classification of 3a or lower are often best. The area should:
- Be a minimum of 10 hectares
- Be flat or slope towards the south
- Have minimal shading from trees and hedges
- Be sited close to a 33kV substation
- Have minimal visibility from residential areas
- Be available for at least 20 years.
S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=solar&searchmode=none; http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=farm&searchmode=none (last access: 20 December 2014). 2. http://www.evoenergy.co.uk/business/sectors/utility-scale/solar-parks-and-solar-farms/ (last access: 20 December 2014).
SYN: photovoltaic solar park, photovoltaic solar farm, solar park, photovoltaic park, photovoltaic farm.
CR: [photovoltaic solar plant], solar energy.